Russian plane crash

Updates as all 224 people on board plane have died after it crashed in Egypt

Dean Ruxton Sat, Oct 31
LIVE: Russian plane crash

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  • 09:36

    Good morning, here is what we know so far about the Russian plane crash in Egypt .

    Egyptian authorities have confirmed that a Russian passenger plane has crashed in the Sinai peninsula. It was carrying over 200 passengers  

    The plane took off from tourist resort of Sharm el-Sheikh at 5.51am local time and disappeared from radar screens 23 minutes after take-off.    It was bound for St Petersburg in Russia.

    A search and rescue team is looking for the plane.  

  • 09:38
    You can watch a video of the flight path taken by the plane before it crashed  here.
  • 09:40
    According to this tweet from FlightRadar24 ,the plane declined at a rate of approximately 6000 feet per minute before the signal was lost
  • 09:50

    The plane, an Airbus A320 operated by Russia's Kogalymavia Airlines, has been found by rescue teams in the Al Hassana area of the Sinai,

    A convoy of 45 ambulances has been sent to the crash area to evacuate casualties, Egypt's Cabinet said a statement to Bloomberg

    According to Bloomberg Egyptian prime minister Sherif Ismail has cancelled a visit to Ismailia and is heading a crisis management committee to follow the incident.  

  • 09:56

    The plane was completely destroyed and all those on board are likely to have died, the Egyptian security officer who arrived at the scene told Reuters by telephone. Egyptian security sources said there was no indication that the Airbus jet had been shot down or blown up.

    After delays caused by poor weather conditions, Egyptian search and rescue teams located the site of the crash in the Hassana area 35 km (22 miles) south of the Sinai Mediterranean coastal city of Al Arish, the aviation ministry statement said.

  • 09:59

  • 10:07
    Russian president Vladimir Putin has expressed his deepest condolences to the families of victims of the crash of a Russian airliner in Egypt, Russian news agencies reported on Saturday citing the Kremlin press service.  
  • 10:12
    Rescue teams at the crash site have reportedly heard voices coming from a section of the plane.  
  • 10:14
    "There is another section of the plane with passengers inside that the rescue team is still trying to enter and we hope to find survivors especially after hearing pained voices of people inside," said a security officer at the scene, according to Reuters.
  • 10:24

  • 10:29

    Egypt's prosecutor general Nabil Sadek has ordered the formation of a team of prosecutors to attend the scene of the crash and investigate the debris.  

  • 10:32

    Reuters reports that the Israeli military said it has offered its help to Egypt and Russia: "Since this morning the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) assisted with aerial surveillance in the efforts to locate the Russian airplane that lost contact over the Sinai Peninsula. The IDF has offered continued assistance to both Russia and Egypt if required," a military statement said.

  • 10:55

    In a statement on Saturday, Egyptian civil aviation minister Mohamed Hossam Kemal was quoted as saying it was "too soon to determine the cause" of the crash  

  • 10:57
    It has emerged that the plane is registered in Ireland and was manufactured in 1997.  
  • 11:09

    Russia's top investigative committee has launched a criminal case against airline Kogalymavia after the plane crash, Russian news agencies have said

  • 11:16
    <table border='0'>
<td class='borderb' width='50%' align='left'>The Metrojet's Airbus A-321 with registration number EI-ETJ that crashed in Egypt's Sinai peninsula, is seen in this picture taken in Antalya, Turkey. Picture taken September, 2015. Photograph: Kim Philipp Piskol/Reuters</td>
    The Metrojet's Airbus A-321 with registration number EI-ETJ that crashed in Egypt's Sinai peninsula, is seen in this picture taken in Antalya, Turkey. Picture taken September, 2015. Photograph: Kim Philipp Piskol/Reuters
  • 11:18

    Adel Mahgoub, chairman of the state company that runs Egypt’s civilian airports, said all passengers and crew on the flight were Russian citizens, Press Association reports

  • 11:25

    According to Reuters at least five children have been found dead on the plane which was split in two.  

  • 11:33

    Security sources say Egyptian authorities have located the black box containing the crashed plane’s flight data, according to Reuters

  • 11:43

    More on that investigation into the crash by Russia which is looking into possible violations of flight safety procedures, according to Press Association.

  • 11:43
  • 11:44

    Vladimir Putin has declared November 1st a national day of mourning following the crash, according to a report by Reuters

  • 12:12
    According to a security officer at the site, 120 bodies have been found and mobile phones have been found ringing in the area
  • 12:13

    "We are hearing a lot of telephones ringing, most likely belonging to the victims, and security forces are collecting them and putting them into a bag," he said, according to Reuters

  • 12:23
    According to Flightradar24, the aircraft  made an apparently smooth take off, but lurched into a rapid descent shortly after approaching cruising altitude
  • 12:25
    It descended rapidly at about 2,000m per minute before the signal was lost to air traffic control, according to Flightradar24
  • 12:27

    The Russian RIA news agency, citing sources at Sharm el-Sheikh, said: “The pilot contacted the dispatcher and reported technical problems, asking for a change of the route and a landing at Cairo airport, after which communication was broken,” according to Reuters

  • 12:28

  • 12:33

    Sad news in from PA - There are no survivors from the crash which was carrying 224 people. Aviation experts have reached the crash site near the city of el-Arish. Officials say all the victims in Saturday’s Metrojet plane crash were Russian citizens.

  • 12:56
    The plane was carrying 214 Russian passengers and three Ukrainians, the Egyptian cabinet has said in a statement. Out of the total 217 passengers, 138 were women, 62 men and 17 were children.
  • 12:59
    Russian airline Kogalymavia said on Saturday that it saw no grounds to blame human error for the crash, Russian news agencies reported.
  • 13:00
    RIA and Interfax news agencies cited an airline spokeswoman saying that the pilot had 12,000 hours flying experience. She also said that the plane had been fully serviced.
  • 13:09
    Airbus has said it is ready to provide full support in the crash investigation. The crashed A321-200 was 18 years old and had been operated by Metrojet since 2012, Airbus said in a statement, according to Reuters.
  • 13:10
    The aircraft had accumulated around 56,000 flight hours in nearly 21,000 flights.
  • 13:18
    Security sources say rescue teams are still on-site gathering the remains of victims, according to Reuters
  • 13:24

    Reuters reports that Russia's state transport regulator, Rostransnadzor, will conduct checks into whether the Kogalymavia airline observed flight safety rules, Russia's Interfax news agency said.

    Officials were searching the airline's offices in Moscow and had seized some documents, according to a report by Russian TV station Rossiya 24.

  • 13:32
    Reuters is now reporting that Interfax news agency said Rostransnadzor, the Russian state transport regulator, found violations when it last conducted a routine flight safety inspection of Kogalymavia in March of last year. But after the inspection, the airline remedied the breaches within the deadlines it had been set.
  • 13:36
    US officials offered their condolences to Russia and to all the families involved in the crash, according to PA. US secretary of state John Kerry told reporters: “We don’t know any details about it, but obviously the initial reports represent tremendous tragedy, loss, and we extend our condolences to the families and all those concerned.”
  • 13:38
    An initial examination of the crash site showed that the plane crashed due to a technical fault, security sources in North Sinai said, according to Reuters
  • 13:40
    About 150 bodies were found in a 5 km radius from the aircraft, the sources said. The plane fell vertically, which led to large parts of it burning.
  • 14:00


  • 14:10

  • 14:14
    AFP is reporting that Islamic State militants in Egypt are claiming responsibility for downing the plane
  • 14:14

  • 14:27

    Some background as an Islamic State group claims to have brought down the plane. Sinai, where the plane has come down, is the scene of an insurgency by militants close to Islamic State, who have killed hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and police and have also attacked Western targets in recent months.

    Russia, an ally of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, launched air raids against opposition groups in Syria including Islamic State on September 30th. Security sources have so far said there was no indication the Airbus had been shot down or blown up.  

  • 14:37

    Egyptian security sources earlier on Saturday said early investigations suggested the plane crashed due to a technical fault. The claim of responsibility was also carried by the Aamaq website which acts as a semi official news agency for Islamic State, Reuters reports.

    "The fighters of the Islamic State were able to down a Russian
    plane over Sinai province that was carrying over 220 Russian crusaders. They were all killed, thanks be to God," a statement circulated on Twitter said.

  • 15:09
    Egypt's prosecutor general has agreed to allow a Russian government agency to participate in investigating the crash, Reuters reports. The North Sinai prosecution office summoned air and ground traffic control officials for questioning over the incident, and ordered a technical team from the Civil Aviation Ministry to analyse the contents of the plane's black box, according to state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram.
  • 15:20
    Russia has said the claim that terrorists caused the airliner crash "can't be considered accurate", the Russian transport minister has told IFAX
  • 15:31
    Interfax quoted Russia's minister for transport Maxim Sokolov as saying: "Now in various media there is assorted information that the Russian passenger (plane)... was supposedly shot down by an anti-aircraft missile, fired by terrorists. This information can't be considered accurate."
  • 15:45

    Russian aviation regulator Rosaviatsia said on Saturday that it didn't yet see any reason to blame the crash on a technical failure, an error by the crew or external actions, RIA news agency reported - Reuters  

  • 15:45

    "Until there is reliable evidence about the circumstances of what happened, there is no sense in putting forward and discussing any versions," RIA quoted Rosaviatsia as saying in a statement.  

  • 16:40

    Irish authorities have made contact with their counterparts in Egypt offering assistance in the investigation into the crash over the Sinai peninsula of a Russian airliner in which all 224 passengers and crew died, writes Conor Pope.

    The Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU), which works independently under the auspices of the Department of Transport, made contact with Egyptian aviation authorities almost as soon as it emerged that the Airbus A321 being flown by Russian airline Kogalymavia under the brand name Metrojet had been registered in Ireland in 2012.

  • 16:41
    Two of Europe's largest airlines, German carrier Lufthansa and Air France-KLM, said they would avoid flying over the Sinai pensinsula until there was clarity about the cause of the crash.
  • 17:12

    Egyptian PM Sherif Ismail said  it was impossible to determine the cause of the Russian  plane crash until the black box was examined but that no "irregular" activities were believed to be behind it.  

  • 17:16