Thursday, March 22, 2018
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Families wait for answers to missing EgyptAir plane

Fate of airliner carrying 66 people from Paris to Cairo shrouded in mystery amid conflicting reports of debris sighting.


There are conflicting reports over whether debris found by Greek authorities in the sea belong to the EgyptAir plane which went missing while travelling from Paris to Cairo.

The Airbus A320 passenger jet was flying at 37,000ft with 66 people on board when it disappeared on Thursday immediately after entering Egyptian airspace, EgyptAir said.

Greek authorities found "floating material" as well as life jackets in the southern Mediterranean Sea, Egypt's civil aviation ministry reported earlier.

The airline has released toll-free numbers for relatives of the passengers who were on-board: 0800 7777 0000 from any landline in Egypt and +20 2259 89320 for international callers.

Greek defence sources reported the discovery of two large plastic objects 80km south of Crete, just hours after flight MS804 travelling went missing.

EgyptAir said the plane disappeared from radar with 56 passengers and 10 crew members on board.

The airliner made "sudden swerves" mid-air and plunged before dropping off radars in the southern Mediterranean, Greece's defence minister said.

Sherif Fathi, Egypt's aviation minister, said the possibility of a "terrorist attack was stronger" than a technical failure.

An informed source at EgyptAir earlier said flight MS804, which departed from Paris' Charles De Gaulle Airport  at 23:09 (CEST), was headed for Cairo when it disappeared from radar.

"At 4:26am, rescue teams affiliated with the Egyptian armed forces have received an SOS message from the emergency unit of the missing plane," EgyptAir said on Twitter.

The AFP news agency said the Egyptian army later denied detecting any distress signal from the missing airliner.

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