The Airbus A321, operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia under the brand name Metrojet, was en route from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg in Russia when it went down in central Sinai soon after daybreak, according to the aviation ministry.
The aircraft was carrying 224 passengers when it lost radar contact near cruising altitude and crashed into a mountainous area, killing everyone on board. Kemal said communications between the plane and air traffic control before the crash had been normal and that nothing irregular had occurred before the accident.
A militant group claiming to speak for Islamic State in Egypt said in a post online that its soldiers brought down the plane “in response to Russian airstrikes that killed hundreds of Muslims on Syrian land”. However, Russia’s Transport Minister told Interfax news agency the claim “can’t be considered accurate”.
An Egyptian security officer told Reuters, “The plane split into two, a small part on the tail end that burned and a larger part that crashed into a rockface. We have extracted at least 100 bodies and the rest are still inside.” The officer spoke on the condition of maintaining anonymous.
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