Kolavia Flight 7K9268, an Airbus A320, went off radar 23 minutes after taking off the Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport in Egypt, Sergey Izvolskiy told the media citing preliminary data. The plane was carrying 212 passengers, mostly Russian tourists, and 7 crew.
UPDATE: Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail confirmed that the Russian plane DID crash in the Sinai.
UPDATE 2: ISIS has claimed responsibility for destroying a Russian passenger jet in response to Vladimir Putin’s decision to bomb Jihadi targets in Syria, although both Moscow and Egypt have denied any possible terrorism link.
UPDATE 3: Authorities are saying the plane crashed nearly vertically, something that would not have happened if there was one engine failure or even two engines. It would have glided to the ground, not flipped over in a vertical position.
RT Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail confirmed that the Russian plane did go missing over Sinai and said a cabinet-level crisis committee has been formed to deal with the incident. Earlier, the Egyptian air accident chief said the Russian plane had safely left Egyptian airspace and made allegedly made contact with Turkish air traffic control. Which turned out not to be true.
Egyptian security sources also reportedly said there was no indication the aircraft had been shot down, however Islamic militants including ISIS are active in the area.
A source in the Russian air traffic controller told Ria Novosti that the plane did not contact controllers in Larnaca, Cyprus. Some Egyptian media claim the crash site has already been discovered in Egypt. The Airbus that was reported going off radar and crashing in the Sinai Peninsula was travelling from the Egyptian resort Sharm El-Sheikh to St. Petersburg, Ria Novosti reported. It belonged to Kogalymavia airline, a small airline based in Western Siberia.
The flight was traveling from the Egyptian resort to St. Petersburg, RIA Novosti reported. It belonged to Kogalymavia airline, which also uses the brand name Metrojet. The plane was supposed to contact air traffic in Turkish Cyprus’ Larnaca after leaving Egypt’s airspace, but failed to do so. 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.
FIRST photos of wreckage: