Egypt: Russian Passenger Plane Crashes Killing All 224 Aboard

A passenger airliner from Russia crashed in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt early on Saturday shortly after its take off from a popular resort town on the Red Sea.

Officials said that all 224 aboard the plane were killed.

The Metrojet flight was carrying 217 passengers with 7 crew members. It was en route to St. Petersburg, Russia from Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport when it was lost on the radar only 23 minutes into its flight.

The Russian embassy located in Egypt’s capital of Cairo released a statement that said all passengers and crew aboard the flight had been killed and we express deep condolences to family and friends of those who lost their lives.

RIA the official state-run news agency in Russia initially had said that some voices had been heard by rescue workers at the site of the crash, but the AP quoted officials from Egypt as saying everyone aboard was killed.

Authorities at the airport said all of the 224 people in the flight were from Russia. The passengers included 17 children between the ages of 2 and 17, said Russian authorities.

Vladimir Putin the President of Russia issued a statement that expressed his condolences to all the families of those killed and has declared a day of mourning.

Russia is sending a team to investigate the crash according to its Emergencies Ministry.

There was no immediate cause of the crash mentioned, although the government of Egypt ruled out any possibility that it was shot down.

An aviation official from Egypt said the pilot of the aircraft, which was an Airbus A-3221, reported he had technical difficulties prior to losing contact with the air traffic controllers.

The pilot told the controllers that he was intending to land at the closest airport.

A source, who was not identified, in the Federal Air Transport Agency in Russia said that the plane had taken off early Saturday and then disappeared from all radar 23 minutes into its flight after it reached 31,000 feet.

A tracking service for flights known as Flight Radar 24, said the aircraft at been descending at a rate of 6,000 per minute at the time it went off the radar.

The plane reportedly had broken into two parts indicating that the pilot might have attempted to make a controlled emergency landing.

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