Greek army finds EgyptAir jet wreckage near Crete Island

Thursday 19-05-2016 04:51 PM

EgyptAir plane, REUTERS

CAIRO, May 19 (Aswat Masriya) – The Greek army announced that it found the wreckage of an EgyptAir jet that vanished earlier on Thursday near the coast of Crete Island in the Mediterranean, Egypt's state television reported.

There were two large floating objects discovered in a sea area 230 miles south of the island of Crete, Reuters reported that a Greek defence source said.

The flight, MS804, disappeared off the radar as it was crossing the Mediterranean at 2:45 Cairo time en route from Paris to Cairo, EgyptAir said early Thursday morning. 

The Airbus 320 had 66 people of different nationalities on board, including two newborns and a child.

The passengers included 30 Egyptians, 15 French nationals, two Iraqi nationals, a British national, a Saudi national, a Portuguese national, a Belgian, a Kuwaiti, a Chadian, an Algerian, and a Canadian. There were also 10 EgyptAir crew members on board.

Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos said the Airbus had first swerved 90 degrees to the left, then spun through 360 degrees to the right. After plunging from 37,000 feet to 15,000, it vanished from Greek radar screens, Reuters reported.

Egypt's civil aviation minister told a press conference on Thursday that it was "too early" to establish the reasons behind the incident, but added that he did not rule out any possibilities, including the possibility of a terrorist act.

"If you analyse the situation properly, the possibility of having a different action or having a terror attack is higher than the possibility of having a technical problem," Minister Sherif Fathy said, diminishing the chances that there was a technical failure.

British Foreign Sectary Philip Hammond said that Britain has offered its support to Egypt, adding that there was one Briton on board, Reuters reported.

Media reports said that France opened an investigation into the incident, which is customary when there are French nationals on board a flight.

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