No surivivors in Russian plane crash in Egypt; IS claims it downed jet

Oct 31, 2015, 21:12 IST | IANS

Cairo/Moscow: A Russian Airbus aircraft carrying 224 people, mostly tourists, crashed in a mountainous region in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula today killing all on board.

An Islamic State group's affiliate in Egypt circulated a statement on social media claiming responsibility for the downing of the Russian passenger plane in Sinai, said a news report.

Egyptian security officials confirmed there were no survivors from among the 217 passengers and seven crew members on board the aircraft.

Family members of the passengers who died in the Russian Airbus aircraft crash mourn the loss of their loved ones. Pic/AFP
Family members of the passengers who died in the Russian Airbus aircraft crash mourn the loss of their loved ones. Pic/AFP

Most of the 100 bodies recovered so far from the site of the crash were burned, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.

All passengers and crew were Russian citizens, said Adel Mahgoub, chairman of Egypt's civilian airport regulator.

Egyptian air traffic control had lost contact with the Airbus A321 23 minutes after it took off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh for St Petersburg early today.

Egyptian Prime Minister Sharif Ismail's office confirmed that a Russian civilian plane crashed in central Sinai.

Flight KGL9268 belonged to Kogalymavia airline, a small airline based in Western Siberia.

A criminal case has been opened against the airline for "violation of rules of flight and preparation for them," Russia's Ria news agency reported.

The reason behind the plane crash was yet to be ascertained but preliminary assessments by security and aviation officials indicated that it crashed in the Sinai Peninsula due to "technical reasons".

russian plane crash
A relative reacts at Pulkovo international airport outside Saint Petersburg after a Russian plane with 224 people on board crashed in a mountainous part of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on October 31, 2015. Pic: AFP

The debris of the Russian jetliner was found in an area in the south Al-Arish city in North Sinai, Egypt's civil aviation ministry said in a statement.

"Military planes have discovered the wreckage of the plane... in a mountainous area, and 45 ambulances have been directed to the site to evacuate dead and wounded," a cabinet statement said.

The wreckage was found in the Hasana area and bodies removed, along with the plane's black box. An official described the crash site as a "tragic scene" with bodies of victims still strapped to seats.

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