When EgyptAir flight MS804 from Paris inexplicably disappeared from radar last night inside Egypt airspace, we feared the worst.Today, investigators are confirming our worst fears. It appears the plane crashed into the Mediterranean with 66 people, where there are reports of large objects floating in the sea around 230 miles south of the island of Crete.
And though the it is too early to know the cause for certain, investigators are already saying it was “almost certainly a terror attack.”
As The Daily Mail reports:
Flight MS804 disappeared after the jet went into a sudden spin and plunged 22,000ft before vanishing off the radar at 00.30am GMT without making a distress call.
Greek defence minister Panos Kammenos said the Airbus A320 made ‘sudden swerves’ in mid-air, lurching 90 degrees to the left then 360 degrees to the right as it fell out of the sky.
He said the plane dropped from 37,000 feet to 15,000ft before the signal was lost at around 10,000 feet.
The revelation came as security experts, minister and former air accident investigator said all the evidence pointed to the plane being targeted in a terrorist attack.
The 56 passengers on board included one Briton, 30 Egyptians, 15 French, one Belgian, one Iraqi, one Kuwaiti, one Saudi Arabian, one Chadian, one Portuguese, one Algerian and one Canadian. There were 10 crew members including three security guards.
The British national is believed to be a man in his 40s from Carmarthen in south Wales.
Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi also said the possibility of a terror attack was a ‘stronger’ possibility than technical failure.
The head of Russia’s top domestic security agency, Alexander Bortnikov, also claimed it was ‘in all likelihood it was a terror attack’.
Meanwhile, Jean-Paul Troadec, the former chief of the BEA national investigation unit, said the lack of a live emergency alert meant it was almost certainly destroyed in a terror attack.
He told Europe 1 radio station in Paris: ‘A technical problem, a fire or a failed motor do not cause an instant accident and the team has time to react.
‘The team said nothing, they did not react, so it was very probably a brutal event and we can certainly think about an attack.’
Their comments came after a merchant ship captain reported seeing a ‘flame in the sky’ over the Mediterranean.
ISIS has been waging a deadly insurgency against Egyptian security forces and last October claimed the bombing of a Russian airliner flying home holidaymakers from the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh which killed all 224 people on board.
The flight was the aircraft’s fifth of the day, having also flown to the Eritrean capital of Asmara, the Tunisian capital Tunis and Brussels in Belgium.
French President Francois Hollande said nothing had been ruled out about the cause of the crash.
Speaking at the Elysee Palace in Paris, he said: ‘When we have the truth we need to draw all the conclusions. At this stage, we must give priority to solidarity toward the families (of the victims).’
The prosecutor said in a statement that its collective accident department opened the investigation with the national gendarme service, adding that ‘no hypothesis is favoured or ruled out at this stage’.
Yes, it’s too early to rule anything out, but what a sad state of affairs that here we are again seriously considering terrorism as the cause of death for some 66 victims, including what is reported to some very young, including two babies.
As investigators continue to piece things together, we continue to send our prayers to the victims and their families as they try to piece their lives back together.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]