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EgyptAir Flight Carrying 56 Passengers, 10 Crew Members Crashes Into Mediterranean Sea: Officials


An EgyptAir plane carrying 56 passengers and 10 crew members crashed into the Mediterranean Sea early Thursday morning, Egyptian aviation officials told the Associated Press.

The "possibility the plane crashed has been confirmed," the officials told the AP, noting that the plane had not landed at a nearby airport hours after it went missing. Reuters also reported that officials believed the flight crashed into the sea.

Flight MS804 was traveling from Paris to Cairo when it vanished from radar over the Mediterranean Sea approximately 10 miles after it entered Egyptian airspace, EgyptAir said in a statement. The airline added that the flight disappeared at an altitude of about 37,000 feet.

Search and rescue teams were dispatched to the area where a distress signal was said to have been emitted from the plane's emergency equipment nearly two hours after the aircraft went missing.

No distress call, however, was made while the plane was in the air, according to the head of Egypt's air navigation authority, Ehab Mohy el-Deen.

“They did not radio for help or lose altitude. They just vanished,” he said, according to the New York Times.

The airline said the pilot had 6,275 hours of flying experience, including more than 2,100 on the same type of aircraft. The co-pilot had 2,766 flying hours under his belt.

Ahmed Adel, vice president of EgyptAir, told CNN that of the 56 passengers aboard, two were infants and one was a child. Three of the 10 crew members were considered to be security personnel.

No Americans were aboard the aircraft, according to an initial passenger manifest released by the airline. Of the 56 passengers, 15 were French, 30 Egyptian, two Iraqi, one British, one Canadian, one Belgian, one Kuwaiti, one Saudi, one Sudanese, one Chadian, one Portuguese and one Algerian.

An EgyptAir plane was hijacked and diverted to Cyprus in March. A man who admitted to the hijacking and is described by Cypriot authorities as "psychologically unstable" is in custody in Cyprus.

The incident renewed security concerns months after a Russian passenger plane was blown out of the sky over the Sinai Peninsula. The Russian plane crashed in Sinai on Oct. 31, killing all 224 people on board. Moscow said it was brought down by an explosive device, and a local branch of the extremist Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for planting it.

The Associated Press contributed to this developing story. Last update: 5/19, 3:28 a.m. ET.

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