Chief investigator believes EgyptAir Flight MS804 was a victim of terror attack

By @vitthernandez on
EgyptAir Crash Investigator
Egypt's Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy speaks, after an EgyptAir plane vanished from radar en route from Paris to Cairo, during a news conference at headquarters of ministry in Cairo, Egypt May 19, 2016. Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

The search for the debris of EgyptAir FlightMS840 is over. The ill-fated Airbus A32  which crashed in the Mediterranean Sea, was found on Thursday morning.

The New York Daily News reports that Greek crews spotted two orang vessels floating 50 miles where the jet vanished from the radar. Egyptian Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy, lead investigator of the air mishap, believes it was a terror attack and not mechanical failure.

“If you thoroughly analyze the situation, the possibility of having a different action or a terror attack, is higher than the possibility of having a technical failure,” the minister says.

The plane had 66 people on board. According to Ihab Raslan, Civil Aviation spokesman, the jet disappeared about 10 miles after it entered Egypt’s airspace. The jet, which carried 56 passengers and 10 flight crew – made up of seven cabin crew and three security personnel - left the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris at 11:09 pm for Cairo. It was scheduled to arrive at the Egyptian capital on early Thursday morning. The plane manifest said it had 30 Egyptian, 15 French, two Iraqi, and one each British, Belgian, Kuwaiti and Saudi passengers.

The Airbus A32 jet was flying at 37,000 feet when it disappeared after it entered Egyptian Airspace, reports CNN. The news agency’s meteorologist, Michael Guy, says conditions were clear and calm when the jet crossed the Mediterranean.

In the latest assessment by AirlineRatings, EgyptAir and EgytpAir Express got 5 out of 7 for safety rating and 4 out of 7 for product rating.

According to AirSafe, the last incident involving an EgyptAir was Flight 667 on July 29, 2011, when an electrical fire broke out in an area beneath the cockpit of the plane leaving from Cairo for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. No one among the 317 people aboard the plane were killed.

The list had eight events in which at least one passenger died, beginning in 1971 through 2002. Besides the Jeddah-bound plane, there was another incident involving the air carrier in February 2000 when an unscheduled international flight from Johannesburg, South Africa, to Harare, Zimbabwe, attempted a landing at bad weather, causing significant damage to the jet, but no one among the 17 crew members or 76 passengers were seriously injured.