Saturday, October 31, 2015

IDF coordinating with Russia, Egypt to assist Russian plane crashed in Sinai - Live Updates

IDF coordinating with Russia, Egypt to help locate Russian plane crashed in Sinai. (JPost).

An IDF spokesperson said Saturday that the army is coordinating with both Russia and Egypt to help locate the remnants of a Russian plane that crashed in the Sinai earlier in the day.

The IDF sent out surveillance aircraft to comb the area where the aircraft is believed to have crash landed. The IDF added that it would be ready to offer further assistance to Russia and Egypt if necessary.

In addition, Magen David Adom offered 30 of its ambulances and its air lift helicopters to assist Egyptian first responders following reports that there were still survivors at the crash site.

A Russian airliner carrying 224 passengers and crew crashed in Egypt's Sinai peninsula on Saturday, the Egyptian civil aviation authority said, and a security officer who arrived on the scene said all aboard the plane were probably dead.

The Airbus A-321, operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia with registration number KGL-9268, was flying from the Sinai Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg in Russia when it went down in a desolate mountainous area of central Sinai soon after daybreak, the aviation ministry said.

The bodies of about 100 passengers were found among the wreckage of the Russian airliner which crashed in Egypt's Sinai peninsula Saturday, an Egyptian security official at the scene told Reuters.

Bodies of all children have been recovered, he added. Seventeen children, aged 2 to 17, were on board. Officials say that the chances of finding any survivors are slim. However, unconfirmed reports suggested that voices of trapped passengers could be heard in sections of the wrecked plane.

Sharm el-Sheikh Airport authorities said that all of the people aboard the aircraft were Russian.

An Egyptian Health Ministry official said 45 ambulances were sent to central Sinai's Al-Hasana City, adding that an "emergency status" was declared.

There were no indications that the Russian Airbus was shot down, Egyptian security sources said. Egypt's North Sinai is home to a two-year-old Islamist insurgency and militants affiliated to Islamic State have killed hundreds of soldiers and police.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a statement expressing his condolences to the families of the victims, and has declared November 1 a national day of mourning. Read the full story here.

Updated 01 Nov.:

UPD at 5:24 p.m. MSK: Investigators have questioned the staff who performed technical maintenance on the aircraft of the Kogalymavia airline company, and the crew of the A321's Egypt-bound flight, Russian Investigative Committee (RIC) spokesman Vladimir Markin told Interfax on Sunday.

"They questioned officers from air navigation support units, the staff who provided technical maintenance for the aircraft of the Kogalymavia Airline Company, and the crew of the Samara to Sharm el-Sheikh flight performed by the crash aircraft on October 30," he said.

Peter Goelz, a CNN aviation analysts and former managing director of U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, told the network that the catastrophic failure in the plane could have been caused by maintenance problem. “It could have been a center fuel tank that might have exploded,” Goelz said.

Air traffic control recordings don’t show any distress call, Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation Hossam Kamel said today.

There was absolutely nothing abnormal before the plane crashed,” Kamel said. “It suddenly disappeared from the radar.

In Samara, the last point of the plane\'s refueling, investigators seized samples of the fuel and other documentation concerning the pre-flight inspection of the technical condition of the aircraft, Markin said. "The samples are due to undergo forensic tests," he said. Hmmm......Sounds like they suspect foul play.Read the full story here.

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