EgyptAir missing fight: Airline official says debris not from plane

Washington: After fresh developments asserting that reports of the EgyptAir Flight 804 wreckage being found were false, the search for the missing aircraft continued.

The Airbus A320, which had 56 passengers and 10 crew and security officers, disappeared early Thursday as it flew from Paris to Cairo.

EgyptAir’s Vice Chairman Ahmed Adel told CNN that when searchers got close to debris found in the Mediterranean Sea, they realized that it didn’t come from the missing airliner.

“We stand corrected on finding the wreckage because what we identified is not a part of our plane. So the search and rescue is still going on,” Adel said.

He added that EgyptAir is not involved in the search and is getting its information from Greek authorities and the Egyptian military, but he didn’t give any details on why the debris found in the water was said to be from the plane or how that information was gathered.

Meanwhile, speculations are adrift on the possibility of a terrorist attack on the aircraft.

“It’s very difficult to come up with a scenario that jibes with some sort of catastrophic failure. (The evidence so far) leads us down the road to a deliberate act,” CNN aviation analyst Miles O’Brien said.

Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sharif Fathi said technical failures and terror each are possible explanations.

“But if you analyze this situation properly, the possibility of having a different action aboard, of having a terror attack, is higher than having a technical problem,” Fathi said.

At 2:27 a.m., shortly before the aircraft was scheduled to exit Greek airspace, controllers tried to reach the pilots to transfer control to Cairo authorities. Despite repeated attempts, they received no response, the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority said.

Radar soon lost the plane’s signal, just after it entered Egyptian airspace, the authority said.

At some point before dropping off radar, the plane swerved 90 degrees to the left, and then made a 360-degree turn to the right before plunging first to 15,000 feet, then 10,000 feet, Kammenos, the Greek defense minister, told reporters.

The flight left Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris at 11:09 p.m. Wednesday for what should have been about a 3 and a half hour flight.

The passengers were predominantly Egyptian, but also aboard were 15 French citizens, including an infant, two Iraqis and one from each of the following: Britain, Belgium, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria and Canada, according to Fathi, the Egyptian aviation minister. (ANI)