: Egypt aviation minister says terrorism likely behind missing EgyptAir jet

10:46 May. 20, 2016

Egypt aviation minister says terrorism likely behind missing EgyptAir jet

This August 21, 2015 photo shows an EgyptAir Airbus A320 taking off from Vienna International Airport, Austria (AP photo)

EgyptAir confirms discovery of MS804 fragments

Egypt's aviation minister says terrorism is a likely cause behind the missing Egyptian passenger jet over the Mediterranean south of Greece rather than a technical failure, Reuters reports.

The EgyptAir passenger jet, an Airbus A320, was travelling from Paris to Cairo when it vanished from radar shortly after entering Egyptian airspace.

Carrying 56 passengers, including one child and two infants, and 10 crew members, the plane then plunged into the Mediterranean Sea. Thirty of the passengers were Egyptian, 15 of them French, and the remainder included people from Chad, Sudan and Algeria.

Objects, including two life jackets as well as pieces of plastic, were found in the sea 370 km south of Crete after the plane went missing. But EgyptAir Vice President Ahmed Adel said the debris was not from Flight MS804, retracting an earlier statement.

There had been no warning from the crew that anything was wrong. Greek aviation officials said the plane made two sharp turns before plunging into the sea.

The plane crash has fueled concerns that terrorists have struck yet again. Both Egypt and France have been hit before.

A defense ministry source said authorities were also investigating an account from the captain of a merchant ship who reported a "flame in the sky" about 130 nautical miles south of Karpathos.

Greece deployed aircraft and a frigate to search for the missing Airbus while Egypt said it would lead the investigation that France would participate in. Other countries that have offered to help include Britain and the United States.

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