Russian airliner crashes in Egypt; IS affiliate claims responsibility

31 Oct 2015 | By Kartikeya Jain

A missing Russian airliner carrying 224 passengers crashed in Egypt's restive Sinai Peninsula.

A senior aviation official said it was a charter flight operated by a Russian company and had on-board 217 passengers and seven crew-members.

It was travelling from the Egyptian resort Sharm El-Sheikh to St. Petersburg.

An IS-backed militant group claimed responsiblity for the accident; early investigations had suggested a technical failure.

In context: Missing Russian airliner found crashed in Egypt

31 Oct 2015Russian airliner goes missing over Egypt

A Russian airliner, Kolavia Flight 7K9268, an Airbus A320, went off radar 23 minutes after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport.

A cabinet-level crisis committee was convened by Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail to deal with the incident.

Most of the passengers in the missing flight were Russian tourists.

The aircraft did not make contact as expected with air traffic controllers in Cyprus.

31 Oct 2015Russian airliner crashes in Egypt; IS affiliate claims responsibility

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History of the crashed plane

The crashed plane was 18 years old, had flown almost 21,000 flights and accumulated about 56,000 flight hours. It had been in operation by the Russian airline since 2012.
What did the authorities say?

Comments What did the authorities say?

A source at Sharm El-Sheikh Airport said that the pilot of the missing plane had requested a change off course, saying the jet would have to land in Cairo.

The Russian aviation authority said in a statement that the flight was supposed to land at Pulkovo airport at 12.10pm.

The authority said the flight's contact with Cyprus air-traffic control was lost 23-minutes after take-off.

Confusion The confusion surrounding the missing plane

News agency Reuters had reported that the missing Russian plane had left Egyptian airspace safely.

Ayman al-Muqaddam, the Head of the Central Air Traffic Accident authority in Egypt said that there was a lot of confusion.

Muqaddam said that the Russian airline had told them that the missing Russian plane was safe.

He was told that it had contacted the Turkish air traffic control.

The last Russian airline incident

The last large-scale Russian airline incident happened in November 2013, when Tatarstan Airlines Flight 363 crashed at Kazan International Airport while attempting to land. Fifty people had died in the incident.
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31 Oct 2015Experts rule out a terror angle

Amidst reports of no survivors on the Russian airliner, security experts negated a terror angle.

They claimed that the plane was flying at the altitude which was beyond "the range of a shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile (Manpad), which Sinai militants are known to possess."

However, German carrier Lufthansa said it would avoid the route for as long as the cause for the crash was unknown.

1 Nov 2015Probe into the Russian plane crash begins

Both the black boxes of the crashed plane have been recovered and the Russian aviation regulator Rosaviatsia has begun a probe into the crash.

The regulator has said that unless the cause of the crash is known, 'caution' must be exercised.

The authorities denied that human error was at play as the commander was an experienced pilot.

Fuel samples are being investigated too.

17 Nov 2015Sinai plane crash- A definite act of 'terrorism'

The head of Russia's security service FSB Alexander Bortnikov confirmed that the Sinai plane crash which killed all 224 people on board "was an act of terrorism."

He told Russian president Vladimir Putin that a homemade explosive device had been responsible for blowing up the plane.

He further added that "traces of explosives" were found in the debris at the crash site in Sinai.

Putin vows to punish Sinai crash perpetrators

Calling it one of the bloodiest crimes, Putin told FSB security chief Alexander Bortnikov, "We will search for them anywhere they might hide. We will find them in any part of the world and punish them."

15 Dec 2015Egypt: No terrorism evidence in Sinai plane crash

The Egyptian Aviation Ministry stated that their preliminary investigation into the Russian passenger plane crash over Sinai has just been completed.

A statement issued by the ministry said that "The technical investigative committee has so far not found anything indicating any illegal intervention or terrorist action".

Sources stated that there would be more information available in the coming weeks.