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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Russian passenger jet crash: Search area in Sinai expanded Live updates

Servicemen gather passengers' belongings on the crash site of the Airbus A321 that was carrying out Kogalymavia Flight 9268 from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg, 100 km south of El Arish in the northern Sinai Peninsula. © Maxim Grigoryev
The search and recovery operation continues in Egypt’s Sinai after a Russian passenger plane crashed there, killing all 224 people on board Saturday. Russian and Egyptian investigators are looking into the causes of the tragedy.
  • 04 November 2015
    20:16 GMT
    US intelligence has suggested a bomb planted on the Russian passenger plane by Islamic State or an affiliate group is “most likely” behind the Metrojet flight crash, CNN reported, citing a US official familiar with the matter. The US intelligence community has not reached a formal conclusion, the source added, but said “there is a definite feeling it was an explosive device planted in luggage or somewhere on the plane.”

  • 20:03 GMT
    The Irish Aviation Authority has directed the country’s airlines to suspend operations to and from Sharm el-Sheikh Airport as well, reported. The world’s largest charter airline, Thomson Airways, which flies from the UK and Ireland, has also temporarily suspended its flights to and from the Egyptian resort destination with immediate effect.
  • 19:23 GMT
    Data from the crashed A321 Flight Data Recorder (FDR) has been successfully copied, and handed over to investigators responsible for decoding, processing and analyzing it, TASS cited the Interstate Aviation Committee as saying.
  • 19:11 GMT
    Reuters cited a Russian aviation source as saying two scenarios that could have brought down the plane are currently being considered – a technical fault and an object stowed inside the aircraft.
  • 19:06 GMT
    All flights from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh resort to the UK have been delayed as a “precautionary measure,” the joint statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Department for Transport, and Foreign & Commonwealth Office said on Wednesday. While the investigation of the Russian passenger jet crash over Egypt’s Sinai is ongoing, the British government has become “concerned that the plane may well have been brought down by an explosive device.
    READ MORE: UK govt: ‘Explosive device’ may have downed Russian passenger jet over Sinai

  • 16:06 GMT
    Investigators from the Russian Emergencies Ministry (EMERCOM) continued to comb through Sinai where the Russian passenger jet crashed. The investigators have collected plane debris and personal objects thought to belong to the victims of the crash, including clothes, luggage, jewelry and documents. The items are due to be taken to St Petersburg, where they are expected to be returned to the victims' relatives.
  • 15:11 GMT
    British PM David Cameron and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi have had a phone conversation about the Russian plane crash in Sinai, Downing Street said Wednesday. The two officials "agreed it was important not to prejudge the investigation," but with the cause of the crash still uncertain, they decided "it would be prudent to ensure the tightest possible security arrangements at Sharm el-Sheikh airport," the statement said.
    Earlier, the Egyptian leader had said that speculation that Islamic State might be behind the Russian plane crash were "false propaganda" aimed at damaging Egypt's image, the Daily Telegraph reported.
  • 13:48 GMT
    An explosion within the engine allegedly caused the Airbus A321 crash in Sinai, media reports suggest. Citing sources in Egypt's investigative committee, Egypt’s Al-Masry Al-Youm reported that the decoded black boxes showed that an engine blast caused the crash of the plane, killing all 224 people on board.
    With no distress signal sent from the plane to the flights control center, the anonymous source told the media that the explosion was huge and might have affected all the engines at once.
    "The investigation did not point yet to have any links to terrorists," Al-Masry Al-Youm cited its source as saying, adding that samples from the wreckage had been taken to determine whether any explosive materials were present on the plane, or if the blast was the result of a mechanics failure.
  • 13:29 GMT
    "Documents and items" which might have importance in the investigation of the criminal case of the plane crash in Sinai have been found at the site of the Airbus A321 crash. According to Vladimir Markin, the spokesman for Russia's Investigative Committee, the area of the search operation has been widened by the Egyptian authorities, and this led to the discovery of the new items.
  • 08:24 GMT
    Preliminary information retrieved from the black boxes of the crashed Russian jet indicates that no discussion took place in the cockpit concerning any mechanical or system problem, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing an anonymous source familiar with the investigation, indicating that the pilots may have had no advance warning of the crash. The initial analysis of the cockpit recording contradicts previous reports that the crew realized they had an emergency and started dealing with it. The source told the WSJ that the crew may have had little or no time to react to the emergency.

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