EgyptAir flight debris found

May 20, 2016  

The Egyptian military confirmed it had found the wreckage of EgyptAir flight MS804 Friday, which crashed early Thursday morning in what could be a terrorist attack. 

The “personal belongings of the passengers and parts of the plane debris” were found 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Alexandria, Egyptian army spokesman Brig. Gen. Mohammed Samir stated. 

The Airbus A320 carrying 56 passengers and 10 crew and security officers disappeared early Thursday over the Mediterranean as it flew from Paris to Cairo. It was flying at 37,000ft when it disappeared from the radar at 2:29 a.m.

However, Egyptian authorities revealed the plane emitted emergency signals some two hours later. At around the same time, sailors in a ship in the Mediterranean claimed they saw a massive fireball streaking through the sky.

Egypt’s civil aviation authority confirmed a mid-air explosion had occurred, and after initially saying they weren’t ruling any causes out admitted that a terrorist attack was more likely the cause than a technical failure.

A massive search ensued, with help in the air and sea from Egypt, Greece, the US, and France. Among them was a technical expert from Airbus.

Earlier Friday, Egyptian President Fattah al-Sisi released a statement of condolences. 

“The presidency with utmost sadness and regret mourns the victims on aboard the EgyptAir flight who were killed after the plane crashed in the Mediterranean on its way back to Cairo from Paris,” he said. 

The British Daily Mail provided a profile of the victims Friday. Among them: a flight attendant who had joked about plane crashes on Facebook; Captain Mohamed Said Ali Ali Shoukair, 37, who had just been promoted four days before the crash; co-pilot Mohammad Mamdouh Assem, whose mother apparently sacrificed all her savings so he could go to flight school; and new father and British citizen Richard Osman. Also onboard was cabin manager Mervat Zakaria, a former TV actress promoted last month. 

Shoukair was a very experienced pilot, the news agency noted, with 6,275 flying hours – 2,101 of those hours flying an Airbus 806.

The 56 passengers on board included 30 Egyptians, 15 French, and a host of other nationalities: one Belgian, one Iraqi, one Chadian, one Portuguese, one Briton, one Algerian, one Saudi Arabian, and several Canadians. 

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