Egypt’s Minister of Civil Aviation said it was too early to know what happened to EgyptAir flight MS804.
At a press conference, the Minister said he would be referring to the plane as “missing” until debris is found. However, the Minister cautioned that this does not mean that the airplane did not crash. Earlier, France’s President Francois Hollande confirmed that the plane had crashed.
Responding to questions from both Egyptian journalists and foreigners, Minister Hossam Abu Elkher urged everyone to stay away from speculation, adding that no scenarios have been ruled out in the case of the missing EgyptAir plane.
However, the Minister denied rumors that the EgyptAir plane had any technical faults that were previously known. The Minister also said he could not confirm claims by Greece that the plane plunged 22,000ft and dramatically swerved before disappearing from the radar.
The Minister also said that it was possible the airplane disappeared as a result of terrorism or a mechanical failure, but that he could not know yet until investigations are complete.
The Minister’s comments came as Russia’s Federal Security Bureau’s head said that the airplane ‘most likely crashed due to terrorism’, reported Reuters. Alluding to rumors, the Minister denounced all theories based on assumptions until an investigation is complete.
The flight from Paris to Cairo was carrying 56 passengers and 10 crew members. The passengers included two infants and one child, said EgyptAir in a statement. An EgyptAir Civil Aviation Ministry official said that the airplane most likely crashed.
The nationalities included passengers from the following countries, announced EgyptAir: Egypt (30), France (15), Iraq (2), United Kingdom (1), Belgium (1), Kuwait (1), Saudi Arabia (1), Algeria (1) Sudan (1), Chad (1), Portugal (1), and Canada (1).
The airplane was flying at 37,000 feet when it disappeared approximately 10 miles in Egyptian airspace. Flight Radar appears to show the airplane losing communication with radar tracking off the coast of Egypt.
The pilot of the aircraft had 6,275 hours of flight time, of which 2,101 were on the same model of aircraft, said EgyptAir. The co-pilot had recorded 2,766 hours of flight time. The aircraft was manufactured in 2003 and had about 48,000 hours of flight time, added EgyptAir.