A Russian plane carrying more than 200 people has crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, Egypt’s civil aviation ministry said. The statement said search-and-rescue teams found on Saturday the wreckage of the Russian passenger jet in the Hassana area, south of the city of el-Arish, where Egyptian security forces are fighting a local affiliate of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group. Aljazeera reports:
It said the plane took off from Sinai Peninsula’s Sharm el-Sheikh, a popular destination for Russian tourists, and disappeared from radar screens 23 minutes after take-off. Egyptian search and rescue team members said they heard voices in a section of the plane, an officer on the scene told Reuters news agency.
Egyptian officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press that there were no survivors. The Egyptian cabinet said there were at least 214 passengers on board, including 138 women, 62 men and 17 children. Others reported there were at least 217 passengers on board plus seven airline staff. Aviation experts have reached the crash site near the city of el-Arish.
The black box which contains the flight data was also found at the scene. “There is another section of the plane with passengers inside that the rescue team is still trying to enter and we hope to find survivors especially after hearing pained voices of people inside,” the officer said.