Search starts for debris of crashed EgyptAir jet near Greek island of Karpathos

By @vitthernandez on
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    The flight path of EgyptAir flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo is seen on a flight tracking screen May 19, 2016. Courtesy Flightradar24.com/Handout via Reuters
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    Journalists report near the EgyptAir desk at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an EgyptAir flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Cairo, in Paris, France in Paris, France, May 19, 2016. Reuters/Christian Hartmann
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    Unidentified relatives and friends of passengers who were flying in an EgyptAir plane that vanished from radar en route from Paris to Cairo react as they wait outside the Egyptair in-flight service building where relatives are being held at Cairo International Airport, Egypt May 19, 2016. Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
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    TV crews report near the EgyptAir desk at Charles de Gaulle airport, after an EgyptAir flight disappeared from radar during its flight from Paris to Cairo, in Paris, France, May 19, 2016. Reuters/Christian Hartmann
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    An EgyptAir plane lands at Cairo Airport in Egypt May 19, 2016. Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
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EgyptAir announced on Thursday that the missing Flight MS804 which disappeared off the radar on Wednesday night, had crashed. The Airbus A32 jet is believed to have crashed 130 nautical miles south of Karpathos, a Greek island.

Time reports that the search for the plane, which has 66 people on board, is now ongoing. According to Ihab Raslan, Civil Aviation spokesman, the jet disappeared about 10 miles after it entered Egypt’s airspace, which means it likely crashed into the Mediterranean.

Participating in the search are Greek planes and vessels. France has offered to assist also in the search and opened a crisis center at its embassy in Cairo. Among the leads is the sighting by the ship captain of a merchant vessels of a flame in the sky near Karpathos. EgyptAir received a distress signal at 4:26 am, likely transmitted from a tracking beacon on the ill-fate plane.

 The jet, which was 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, 2 Iraqi, and 1 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.

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