CAIRO, Egypt: A Russian passenger plane with more than 220 people on board has crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, according to Egyptian and Russian authorities.
However, the cause of the fatal crash is yet unknown while the fate of passengers also remains unconfirmed.
The Russian media reports said that an Airbus A320 operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia was traveling from the Egyptian resort Sharm el-Sheikh to the Russian city of St Petersburg when it disappeared from radar screens in Cypriot airspace.
The reports citing the Russian aviation authorities said that the plane went off radar 23 minutes after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport.
The authorities said that the plane was carrying 212 passengers including 17 children, three Ukrainian citizens and 7 crew members.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail confirmed that the Russian plane met a crash in Central Sinai.
A “Russian civilian plane… crashed in the central Sinai,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement.
The prime minister further said that a cabinet-level crisis committee has been formed to deal with the incident.
In an earlier statement, the head of the central air traffic accident authority in Egypt Ayman al-Muqaddam said that the missing passenger plane on its way to Russia had safely left Egyptian airspace and made contact with Turkish air traffic control.
“The … Russian airline had told us that the Russian plane we lost contact with is safe and that it has contacted Turkish air traffic control and is passing through Turkish skies now,” Ayman al-Muqaddam was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared November 1 a ‘day of mourning’, according to the Kremlin’s press office.