An EgyptAir flight carrying 66 passengers and crew on a flight from Paris to Cairo went missing on Thursday, disappearing from radar over the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt’s national airline said.
Officials with the airline and the Egyptian civil aviation department told Reuters they believed the Airbus A320 probably crashed into the sea.
Aboard the flight were 30 Egyptians, 15 French nationals, one Briton and one Belgian.
Families of passengers rushed to Cairo International Airport shortly after dawn while the Egyptian and Greek military scrambled aircraft and boats to search for the plane.
“An official source at EgyptAir stated that Flight MS804, which departed Paris at 23:09 (CEST), heading to Cairo has disappeared from radar,” the airline said on its official Twitter account.
Later Tweets by EgyptAir said the plane, which was traveling at an altitude of 37,000 feet (11,280 meters), disappeared in Egyptian air space at 02:30 a.m., some 280kms (165 miles) from the Egyptian coastline, before it was due to land at 03:15 a.m.
“There was nothing unusual,” EgyptAir Vice Chairman Ahmed Adel told Reuters. “The search and rescue aircraft from the Egyptian air force are at the position where we lost contact. They are still looking and so far there is nothing found.”
NO DISTRESS CALL
Egyptian state newspaper Ahram reported no distress call was made and the last contact was 10 minutes before the plane disappeared.
Distress signal “from vicinity” of plane
A distress signal was detected in the general vicinity after two hours where the EgyptAir flight disappeared, but it may not have come from the plane, Ahmed Adel, Vice Chairman of EgyptAir’s Holding Company, tells CNN.
He was clarifying an earlier EgyptAir statement that said a distress call was detected from the plane at 4:26 a.m. local time, two hours after the aircraft disappeared from radar.
Adel says the distress signal could have come from another vessel in the Mediterranean.
Video Source: Reuters on YouTube