Experts investigating the crash of the Russian airliner in Sinai, Egypt yesterday have confirmed that the Airbus 321 ‘broke up in mid air’.
Parts of the wreckage have been found over an area of 20 square kilometres, said Victor Sorochenko, head of Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee.
The flight, operated by Russian airline ? Had departed from sharm el sheikh and was bound for St Petersburg, but was brought crafting down shortly after taking off, killing all 224 passengers and crew members on board.
Jihadists active in the Sinai region had previously claimed that they were responsible for bringing the aircraft down, however Egyptian Prime Minister Sharif Ismail denied that this would have been possible, given that the plane was flying at too high an altitude to be reached by the militant’s weapons. Sorochenko stated that it was too early to conclude what had caused the crash.
Russia is marking a day of national mourning today after the disaster.
The plane’s black boxes have been recovered and sent off to be analysed. Experts from Airbus have joined Russian and Egyptian investigators to find out more from the scene of the crash.
163 bodies have so far been recovered, with some found up to 5km from the wreckage of the plane. It has been suggested by investigators that the plane appeared to have broken in two, with one part burning up and the other crashing into a rock.
Several major airlines have announced that they will not be flying over Sinai until the cause of the crash has been established.