Russian Passenger Plane Crashes Over Egypt

Russian passenger plane

A Russian passenger plane carrying over 220 people from Egypt to Russia disappeared from radars, and crashed in central Sinai, according to reports from Russian and Egyptian authorities.

Belonging to a small Russian airline, the plane was flying from the Egyptian resort, Sharm El-Sheikh to Saint Petersburg.

Kolavia Flight 7K9268 carrying 217 passengers and 7 crew members, reportedly went off radar 23 minutes after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport.

Egyptian officials said that nearly all of the 217 passengers were Russian, aside from three Ukrainian citizens.


Update: It has been confirmed that none of the passengers survived.

RT reports:

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail confirmed that the Russian plane did go missing over Sinai and said a cabinet-level crisis committee has been convened to deal with the incident.

The crash site was discovered hours later in a desolate mountainous area of central Sinai, Egypt’s aviation ministry reported.

The plane was destroyed and all passengers and crewmembers were initially presumed to have been killed in the crash. But later rescue workers reported that they could hear voices as they started recovering the bodies from the debris.

The Egyptian military told RT access to the crash site may be difficult for the press due to the volatile security situation in the Sinai. Large parts of the peninsula are dangerous due to the presence of militants, with only coastal areas in the north and south adequately guarded by security forces. The crash site is in the Hassana area 35 km south of Arish, the largest city in the Sinai.

The flight was traveling from the Egyptian resort to St. Petersburg. It belonged to the Kogalymavia airline, which also uses the brand name Metrojet, an operator popular among Russian tourists going to Egypt. The plane was supposed to contact air traffic in Turkish Cyprus’ Larnaca after leaving Egypt’s airspace, but failed to do so.

The plane climbed to its designated altitude of over 10,000 meters before rapidly dropping and then vanishing from radar. Some reports in the Egyptian media cited eyewitnesses as saying the plane was on fire as it fell.

A source at Sharm El-Sheikh Airport told RIA Novosti the pilot of the missing plane requested a change of course, saying the jet would have to land in Cairo. The source said the crew of the crashed plane had complained to the airport’s technical service that the jet had engine problems.

Russia has declared Sunday a day of national mourning for the crash victims.