UPDATED: EgyptAir Flight From Paris Goes Missing
EgyptAir flight MS804 disappeared from radar contact around 2:30am Thursday morning, the company reported via Twitter at 4:57am. The flight from Paris to Cairo was carrying 56 passengers, including two infants and one child, and 10 crew.
UPDATE 5 (9:25am): EgyptAir reported at 9:20am that there is not yet any information about the cause of the plane’s disappearance, denying media reports of a technical issue. The European Aviation Safety Association (EASA), meanwhile, tweeted that it is “aware of the media reports” and that no further information is available at this time, but it is “following the developments very closely.”
French PM Valls said France has offered to send planes and boats to help in the search, reported The Guardian. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault was quoted as saying, “Everything must be done to find the plane, that’s why we’re in contact with the Egyptian authorities. We are mobilizing and ready to send our military means, planes and boats, to search for this plane.”
UPDATE 4 (9:10am): Egypt Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy has arrived at the crisis center, cutting short a trip to Jeddah.
UPDATE 3 (8:40am): Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail arrived at EgyptAir’s emergency headquarters where he was presented with a detailed briefing and is keeping close track of updates on the situation, according to tweets by EgyptAir. He has directed all relevant authorities to take all necessary actions.
Two Greek planes and a frigate are assisting in the search.
Greek authorities are also “investigating an account from the captain of a merchant ship who reported a ‘flame in the sky’ some 130 nautical miles south of the island of Karpathos,” Reuters reported, quoting a Greek defense ministry source.
UPDATE 2 (8:30am): At 4.26am, two hours after the plane disappeared, a call for help via the plane’s emergency equipment was received by the army’s search and rescue team, EgyptAir reported via Twitter at 8:20am. Egyptian search operations are ongoing by air and by sea, joined by a Greek plane sent to help with the search.
According to EgyptAir, 30 Egyptians, 15 French, two Iraqis, and one person each from the UK, Belgium, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria, and Canada were on board. The airline’s crisis center has set up hotlines for relatives of passengers, and is hosting families in Cairo near Cairo Airport.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls told RTL radio Thursday morning that France is in close contact with Egyptian authorities and is ready to help if Egyptian authorities as for assistance. “At this stage, no theory can be ruled out regarding the causes of the disappearance,” he added.
UPDATE 1 (7:07am): EgyptAir reported that the plane disappeared from radar when it was 10 miles into Egyptian airspace at 2:45am.
The airplane did not make a distress call before going off radar, spokesperson for the Egypt Civil Aviation Authority, Ihab Raslan, said, adding that the plane most likely crashed into the sea.
Egypt armed forces and Greece are working on search and rescue efforts. Charles de Gaulle Airport authorities and the French Aviation Authority have yet to make a statement regarding the disappearance of the plane.
An informed source at EGYPTAIR stated that Flight no MS804,which departed Paris at 23:09 (CEST),heading to Cairo has disappeared from radar.
— EGYPTAIR (@EGYPTAIR) May 19, 2016
5:35am: EgyptAir has reported that flight MS804 headed from Paris to Cairo went off radar early Thursday morning. The flight took off on Wednesday at 11:09am and was carrying 56 passengers and 10 crew.
According to tweets from EgyptAir the airplane reached 37,000 ft and before disappearing 80 miles before entering Egyptian airspace.
WE SAID THIS: Stay tuned for updates.