Published On: Sat, Oct 31st, 2015

No survivors left in Russian Airliner crash over Sinai penninsula

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A Russian airliner carrying 217 passengers and seven crew members crashed in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula today, the Egyptian government has confirmed. None of the passengers survived the crash, a report of the Russian embassy has said.

The search and rescue teams have so far found more than 100 bodies, including those of five children, in the wreckage of the aircraft, an official at the site told Reuters.

“The plane split into two, a small part on the tail end that burned and a larger part that crashed into a rock. We have extracted at least 100 bodies and the rest are still inside,” the officer said. An official among the Egyptian search and rescue teams had earlier said that voices could be heard in a section of the plane. But media reports quoting Egyptian officials have now confirmed that there were no survivors in the crash.

A civil aviation ministry statement said Egyptian military search and rescue teams found the wreckage of the passenger jet in the Hassana area some 70 kilometers (44 miles) south of the city of el-Arish, an area in northern Sinai where Egyptian security forces have for years battled a burgeoning Islamic militant insurgency which is now led by a local affiliate of the extremist Islamic State group.

It said the plane, believed to be an Airbus model, took off from Sharm el-Sheikh shortly before 6 a.m. for St. Petersburg in Russia and disappeared from radar screens 23 minutes after takeoff. The Egyptian officials said the aircraft was cruising at 36,000 feet (about 11,000 meters) when contact with air traffic controllers was lost.

It was not immediately possible to independently confirm that technical problems caused the plane to crash.

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