CAIRO, May 20 (Aswat Masriya) – Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi offered on Friday condolences to the families of victims who were on board the EgyptAir jet that plunged into the Mediterranean Sea on Thursday with 66 persons on board.
Egypt’s flag carrier airline announced early Thursday morning that its flight MS804 vanished off the radar 16 km into Egyptian airspace as it was crossing the Mediterranean at 2:45 AM Cairo time en route from Paris to Cairo.
“The presidency mourns with utmost sadness and deep sorrow the victims on board the EgyptAir flight who were killed after the plane crashed in the Mediterranean Sea on its way back to Cairo from Paris,” Sisi’s office said in a statement.
The Airbus 320 airliner had 56 passengers on board – 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 seven crew and three security staff on board.
Sisi thanked “friendly countries who were quick to offer assistance” in the search for the plane’s debris and said that the investigation continues to unravel the cause of the crash.
Egypt’s Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said on Thursday that he does not rule out terrorism or any other factor.
No militant group has claimed responsibility for the crash as yet.
Militancy inside Egypt has seen a significant rise since the military ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July 2013, following mass protests against his rule. The Islamic State’s affiliate in Egypt had claimed responsibility for the October 2015 crash of a Russian plane above Egypt’s Sinai, which killed all 224 people on board.
The Egyptian military said on Friday morning it has found in the Mediterranean Sea, 290 km north of Egypt’s Alexandria, debris and passengers’ personal belongings from the crashed EgyptAir plane.