EgyptAir flight with 60 on board crashes en route from Paris to Cairo

Thursday, May 19, 2016 - 00:00

An EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo with more than 60 people aboard has crashed, says a source. A search is on to locate debris.

The Airbus A320 most likely crashed into the sea, Ihab Raslan, a spokesman for the Egyptian civil aviation agency, told SkyNews Arabia. He said the plane was about to enter Egyptian airspace when it disappeared from radar. The airline, however, said it had vanished 10 miles (16 kilometers) after it entered Egyptian airspace.

EgyptAir Flight 804 was lost from radar at 2:45 a.m. local time, the airline said. It was flying at 37,000 feet when it disappeared.

The Paris airport authority and the French civil aviation authority would not immediately comment.

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.

In 1999, EgyptAir Flight 1990 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near the Massachusetts island of Nantucket, killing all 217 people aboard, U.S. investigators filed a final report that concluded its co-pilot switched off the autopilot and pointed the Boeing 767 downward. But Egyptian officials rejected the notion of suicide altogether, insisting some mechanical reason caused the crash.