EgyptAir wreckage found in Mediterranean

Cairo, May 20: Debris from the missing EgyptAir plane has been found in the Mediterranean sea, 180 miles north of the coastal city of Alexandria, media reports quoted the Egyptian military as saying on Friday.

The plane disappeared over the Mediterranean with 66 people on board early Thursday.

“Egyptian aircraft and navy vessels have found personal belongings of passengers and parts of the wreckage 290 kilometres (180 miles) north of Alexandria,” a military spokesman said on his Facebook page.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi expressed his condolences on Friday to the families of victims.

“The presidency with utmost sadness and regret mourns the victims on aboard the EgyptAir flight who were killed after the plane crashed in the Mediterranean on its way back to Cairo from Paris,” Sisi’s office said in a statement.

The search intensified on Friday, a day after Egypt’s aviation minister said while it was too soon to say why the Airbus A320 flying from Paris to Cairo had vanished from radar screens, a “terrorist” attack would be a more likely scenario than a technical failure.

The tragedy raised fears of a repeat of the bombing of a Russian passenger jet by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group over Egypt last October that killed 224 people.

The plane disappeared between the Greek islands and the Egyptian coast in the without a distress signal from its crew.

Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos said the aircraft swerved sharply twice in Egyptian air space before plunging 6,700 metres.
Both Egypt and Greece dispatched aircraft and naval vessels. They were expected to be joined by French teams, while the US sent a surveillance plane to help with the operation.