Egypt to issue preliminary report on plane crash by December - Russian Interstate Aviation Committee

Saturday 21-11-2015 02:43 PM
Egypt to issue preliminary report on plane crash by December - Russian Interstate Aviation Committee

The remains of a Russian airliner which crashed is seen in central Sinai near El Arish city, north Egypt, October 31, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer


CAIRO, Nov.20 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt is expected  to release a preliminary report on the findings of the investigation into the crash of the Russian A321 airliner in Sinai by December, 30 days after the incident, said the Russian Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), according to Interfax news agency.

The charter flight operated by Russian airline Metrojet broke up midair 23 minutes after takeoff from Sharm el-Sheikh airport as it headed to St. Petersburg on October 31, killing all 224 passengers and crew on board, and leaving heaps of debris spread over no less that 13 squared kilometers.

Egypt's most active militant group in North Sinai, Sinai Province, an affiliate of ISIS, claimed responsibility for downing the plane twice. After the second time, the British Prime Minister announced that “it’s more likely than not” a terrorist act downed the plane and accordingly changed its travel advice against all but essential travel to the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh and suspended flights to and from Sharm.

A day later, the US President said that "it's certainly a possibility" that the plane was sabotage and that the incident is being taken "very seriously".

Soon after Russia suspended all its flights to Egypt and banned the national carrier EgyptAir from flying to Russia.

Just seventeen days after the crash, a Kermlin statement announced the completion of its own investigation, claiming that it was an act of terrorism. The Russian Federal Security Service said that the examination of passengers' belongings, luggage and fragments from the debris revealed that there were traces of "foreign-made explosives."

A day later ISIS published pictures in its Dabiq magazin of the alleged improvised explosive device used to down the Russian plane, a can of Schweppes Gold and what appeared to be a makeshift trigger, which explosives experts have told Aswat Masriya could have brought down the plane depending on where it was placed.

The Egypt-led international committee is still investigating the incident and has officially said that "all possibilities are on the table" but that it is too early to jump to conclusions.

Egypt’s Aviation Ministry refuted Friday claims that the committee was slow.

Ministry spokesman Mohamed Rahma said that the delegations from Russia, Ireland, France and Germany left the country to conduct further technical analysis into the reasons for the crash.

The investigative team is made up of 58 members, including 29 from Egypt, seven from Russia, six from France where the plane was designed, three from Ireland where it was registered and two from Germany where it was manufactured.

The delegations will come back to Egypt to start the second phase of the investigation after transferring the wreckage from North Sinai to Cairo.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Egyptian inquiry “is not slow-paced at all” and that investigations take time.

Despite the suspension of flights that has already taken its toll on tourism revenues, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Thursday after signing Egypts' first nuclear power plant deal with Russian State Nuclear Energy Corporation Rosatom, that Egypt fully understands Russia’s position.

He added that Egypt has been cooperating with Russia and other countries involved and that “our cooperation stresses that we are dealing with the issue with utmost transparency and responsibility as the lives of people is of utmost importance.”

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