Metrojet Plane Crash: 'External Activity' Blamed for Egypt Crash
Metrojet Plane Crash: 'External Activity' Blamed for Egypt Crash

Metrojet Plane Crash: External Activity Blamed for Egypt Crash

Only an external impact could have caused a Russian plane to dive into the Egyptian desert, killing all 224 people on board, Metrojet airline officials said.

“We rule out a technical fault of the plane or a pilot error,” said Alexander Smirnov, deputy general director of the Metrojet airline. “The only possible explanation could be an external impact on the airplane.”

He declined to provide more details, citing an ongoing investigation, according to the AP. A senior Russian aviation official had previously confirmed that the Airbus plane bound for St. Petersburg broke up mid-air and crashed in the Sinai Peninsula just 23 minutes after taking off from the resort community of Sharm el-Sheikh International in Egypt, according to the AP.

In televised remarks, Alexander Fridlyand, an expert from an aviation research center in Moscow, suggested that “a quick plunge from high altitude may indicate that a plane was hit by a bomb explosion in its luggage compartment,” the AP reported.

An Egyptian group associated with the Islamic State terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the tragedy but has offered no evidence. Russian Minister of Transportation Maxim Sokolov has said that rumors that Airbus A321 was shot down by Islamic State terrorists are “inaccurate.” The BBC reported over the weekend that the group does not have the capability to bring down a plane and authorities are skeptical.

Still, Qatar Airways has joined the list of airlines, along with Air France, Lufthansa, and Emirates, that are rerouting flights to avoid flying over Egypt’s Sinai Province. Representatives for Qatar cite “an abundance of caution” for their decision, according to the AP.

The flight was carrying 217 passengers, including 17 children, plus seven crew members, according to the BBC. Most of the passengers were believed to be tourists. Of them, 214 were Russian and three were Ukrainian.


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