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Thread: Russian Airliner Crash in Egypt's Sinai

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    Default Russian Airliner Crash in Egypt's Sinai

    Russian plane crash in Egypt's Sinai - CNN.com

    Russian plane crashes in Sinai, reportedly killing all 224 people on board
    By Don Melvin, CNN
    Sat October 31, 2015

    Story highlights

    • Russian President Vladimir Putin orders investigation into crash
    • Plane was flying at 31,000 feet when it vanished from radar in clear weather
    • Insurgency is active in parts of Sinai, but there's no initial indication of any role in crash


    Cairo (CNN) - A Russian passenger airliner crashed early Saturday in the Sinai Peninsula, with 224 people aboard, officials said.

    All passengers were killed, the Russian Embassy in Cairo said on Twitter.
    Russian state media reported that many of the 217 passengers were Russians returning from vacation. The passengers were reported to include 17 children.

    There were seven crew members.

    The plane had departed the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in the Sinai on a flight to St. Petersburg, Russia.

    Here's what we are learning as the day wears on:
    • Al-Ahram, an Egyptian state-run newspaper, quoting medical sources, reports that 100 intact bodies have been recovered and are being prepared for transfer to a morgue in Cairo, but other bodies are in pieces. The recovery of 100 bodies this quickly from a smoldering wreck seems highly unlikely, however.
    • Bodies of plane crash victims are being recovered from the crash site, the Russian Embassy in Cairo says on its official Twitter account.
    • An Egyptian investigation team has reached the crash site of the crashed jet in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, state-run Nile TV reports, citing the minister of civil aviation.
    • Airbus, the plane's maker, issues a statement on Twitter: "We are aware of the media reports," the tweet reads. "Efforts are now going towards assessing the situation. We'll provide more information as soon as available."


    Relatives react at the St. Petersburg, Russia, airport after news of the crash.


    Russian investigation ordered
    • Russian President Vladimir Putin declares an official day of mourning Sunday for victims of the crash, the Kremlin says. And he is ordering Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to open an investigation into the crash.
    • The Northern Sinai medical department declares a state of emergency, according to Al-Ahram. The Prime Minister's office reports that 50 ambulances have been dispatched to the area, which is mountainous.
    • The Russian emergency ministry will send five planes to the area to help with possible rescues and the investigation. Russia has opened a hotline for relatives, many of whom have already gathered at the airport in St. Petersburg.



    • Russia 24, a state-owned news channel, and other Russian media outlets are saying the pilot reported technical problems and requested a landing at the nearest airport before the plane went missing. Officials have not corroborated those reports.
    • Russia 24 also quotes the FlightRadar 24 website as saying the plane was descending at a rate of 1,800 meters per minute, or 67 mph, before radar contact was lost.
    • Weather in the area was clear, CNN reports.
    • The Egyptian Prime Minister meets with ministers and security officials regarding the crash. An ISIS-aligned insurgency is active in parts of Sinai, but there is no initial indication it played any role in the crash.

    Plane was at 31,000 feet when contact was lost
    • The crash site is in the northern part of Sinai, near a town called Housna -- 300 kilometers (185 miles) from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, the Egyptian Prime Minister's office says Egyptian air force planes have spotted the crash site from the air, officials say.
    • Two-hundred twenty-four people were reported to be aboard, including 217 passengers and seven crew members. The passengers include d17 children. The Belarus Ministry of Foreign Affairs said its embassy in Egypt is working to determine whether Belarusians were on board.
    • The airliner was on its way from Sharm el-Sheikh, at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, to St. Petersburg, according to Sputnik International, an official Russian news agency.
    • Egyptian air traffic control says it lost contact with the airliner 23 minutes after takeoff, Sputnik reports. Many of the passengers are reported to be Russians returning from vacations. The plane disappeared at 6:20 a.m. local time.
    • The plane was flying at 31,000 feet when it disappeared from radar screens, the Egyptian civil aviation ministry says.
    • The plane, Kogalymavia Flight 9268, was an Airbus 321, Russian state media report. The airline is commonly known as Metrojet.

    CNN's Sara Sirgany, Ian Lee and Nic Robertson contributed to this report.

    Russian plane crash in Egypt's Sinai - CNN.com

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    Sinai plane crash: What caused it? - BBC News

    Sinai plane crash: What caused it?




    Image copyright EPA

    Egyptian and international experts have begun their investigation into why a Russian airliner carrying 224 people crashed in the north of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, killing all on board.

    What will be their main lines of inquiry?

    Technical fault?

    Egypt's prime minister has said a technical fault was the most likely cause of the disaster, but that it would be up to the air accident investigators "to prove or deny this".
    Egypt's civil aviation minister Hossam Kamal said there had been no sign of any problems on board the flight, contradicting earlier reports that the pilot had asked to make an emergency landing after experiencing technical problems.
    In Russia, the wife of the plane's co-pilot, Sergei Trukhachev, told NTV that said her husband had complained the plane's condition "left much to be desired" during a telephone call before the flight left Sharm el-Sheikh.
    But the Kogalymavia airline has insisted the 18-year-old plane was fully airworthy, and Hossam Kamal said that "there were no reports that the airplane had faults, the checks done before takeoff did not reveal anything".




    Human error?

    The airline has said that the pilot - who reports identified as Valery Nemov - had more than 12,000 hours of flying experience, including 3,860 hours in A321s and that there was no reason to suspect that "crew error" was a factor in the disaster.
    But the aircraft's "black boxes" - the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, both of which have been found - will provide investigators with detail on the last minutes of the flight and enable them to deduce whether any actions taken by the flight crew caused or contributed to the crash - which happened during fine weather.





    The CVR records the voices of the pilots and other sounds from the cockpit. It retains two hours of recording - on longer flights, the latest data is recorded over the oldest.

    The FDR records technical flight data, including at least five basic sets of information: pressure altitude, airspeed, heading, acceleration and microphone keying (the time radio transmissions were made by the crew).

    Both recorders are designed to withstand a massive impact and a fire reaching temperatures up to 1,100C for 60 minutes.


    Shot down by missile?

    Image copyright EPA Security experts have poured scorn on claims from jihadis allied to the Islamic State (IS) group, who are active in the Sinai area, that they downed Flight KGL9268, but examinations of the aircraft wreckage and debris field will enable investigators to definitively pronounce on this theory.
    A senior Russian aviation official has confirmed that the plane broke up in mid-air. But Viktor Sorochenko said it was too early to draw conclusions about the causes of the disaster from that fact.
    The jet was cruising well above the maximum range of any surface-to-air missile that the jihadists are thought to possess. These are far less powerful than the vehicle-borne Buk system that shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine last year.
    Experts have also questioned the logic of why Islamic State's Sinai affiliate would risk inviting a massive international retaliation by such an action when its battle is primarily with the Egyptian state.
    BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner says that with Russia fighting a war against IS in Syria, and Egypt's fragile economy in desperate need of tourists, both countries will be hoping this has nothing to do with terrorism.

    Bomb on board?

    Image copyright AP ' Egyptian PM Sherif Ismail (r) has dismissed claims from Islamic State that it was responsible Analysing the aircraft's black boxes will help investigators determine what caused it to suddenly plummet from the sky.
    No hard evidence has emerged to suggest that a bomb on board the plane caused the crash - and there are questions about how a would-be bomber would evade heightened security measures around Sharm el Sheikh airport - but one expert told the BBC that descriptions of the wreckage indicate that such an event remains a possibility.
    Professor Michael Clarke, Director General of the Royal United Services Institute think-tank said: "Early reports said that [the aircraft] split into two and that suggests a catastrophic failure, not a mechanical failure, but that suggests perhaps an explosion on board.
    "So I'd be much more inclined to think if we have to guess at this stage, it's much more likely to have been a bomb on board rather than a missile fired from the ground."
    Again, analysis of the main wreckage site and the debris field will enable investigators to evaluate this theory.


    Sinai plane crash: What caused it? - BBC News

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    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...306_story.html

    World
    Britain suspends flights from Sinai, citing bomb fears

    Britain says explosive may have downed Russian plane


    The British government says it is increasingly concerned that a Russian jet was brought down by a bomb and is suspending flights to and from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. (AP)
    By Griff Witte and Erin Cunningham
    November 4 at 6:46 PM

    LONDON — Britain on Wednesday offered the strongest signal to date that a bomb was to blame for the Saturday crash of a Russian airliner over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula by halting flights to and from the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh amid concerns about airport security.


    In a Wednesday night television appearance, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond cited “a significant possibility that the crash was caused by an explosive device on board the aircraft.” He said that flights from Britain to Sharm el-Sheikh would be suspended indefinitely and that the thousands of Britons already in the city would return home under “emergency procedures for additional screening.”


    As the British government suspended flights, a U.S. official said that intelligence potentially indicates that the Russian plane was brought down by a bomb. But the official cautioned that the information was still being vetted. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, would not describe the kind of intelligence that was being examined.


    The Islamic State’s affiliate in Egypt has repeatedly claimed responsibility for the crash, which left 224 people dead when a Metrojet airliner broke up midflight and scattered debris across seven square miles of desert.


    The group reiterated its assertion Wednesday in an audio clip that appeared to taunt Russian and Egyptian officials who have sought to play down suggestions that terrorism was to blame.

    "Search the wreckage of the plane and bring forth your black box and analyze it. Show us your expertise, and prove that we did not cause the plane to crash,” the group said. “We shall reveal in the coming days the mechanics of bringing down the plane, at the time we want and through the method we deem best.”


    Britain’s announcement will significantly heighten speculation that the group’s claims are accurate — particularly the theory that a bomb was smuggled on board, either in the cabin or the cargo hold. Such attacks have become rare in recent decades as airport security has intensified. If a bomb was to blame, the crash could expose previously unknown vulnerabilities.


    [What would cause a plane to break up in midair?]


    Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told CNN on Wednesday that the government had increased security at the country’s airports. But he denied that the precaution was an indication the plane had been brought down by terrorists.


    Even with the heightened measures, Britain’s decision to suspend all flights suggested that the country’s intelligence services have deep apprehensions about the state of security at the Sharm el-Sheikh airport.


    Britain first announced a pause in flights from Sharm el-Sheikh in the late afternoon and said a team of experts was on the ground evaluating security measures. But a spokesperson for 10 Downing Street said they were not satisfied with what they found, prompting Hammond to announce an indefinite suspension of flights and to warn Britons against all but essential travel to the Red Sea resort, which is a favorite of British tourists.


    Hammond said the decision was made “very reluctantly,” acknowledging the likely impact on the Egyptian economy. But he said that “we have to put the safety and security of British nationals above all other considerations.”


    Russia mourns after airliner crashes in Egypt


    None of the 224 people on board survived the flight, which was headed toward St. Petersburg.

    An estimated 20,000 Britons are on the ground in and around Sharm el-Sheikh. The 10 Downing Street spokesperson, who spoke under customary rules of anonymity, said there would be no flights back to Britain on Thursday and that bringing British citizens home would “take time.”

    Ireland’s aviation authority said Wednesday that it would follow Britain’s lead and advise its country’s carriers to avoid Sharm el-Sheikh.

    White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that no U.S. carriers regularly operate out of the Sinai. “The airport in question . . . is not the last point of departure into the United States for any airline, including foreign airlines that do operate in the Sinai Peninsula,” he said.

    The suspension of flights came just a day before British Prime Minister David Cameron is due to host Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi in London. A statement from 10 Downing Street on Wednesday said that Cameron and Sissi had spoken by phone on Tuesday evening to discuss security at the Sharm el-Sheikh airport.

    Britain has not been directly involved in the investigation into why the Russian plane crashed, and the Downing Street spokesperson would not comment on what information had triggered Wednesday’s suspension.

    But Stephen Wright, an aviation expert at the University of Leeds, said the highly unusual move suggests officials are concerned that airport security has been compromised. They are likely focused, he said, on the procedures for vetting airport personnel — and the possibility that someone working at the airport helped smuggle a bomb on board the Metrojet plane.

    “If it’s happened once, it can happen again,” he said. “It’s a very astute move to err on the side of caution.”

    Earlier this year, police found and defused two improvised explosive devices near the arrivals hall at the international airport in Cairo. And security experts have warned that corruption inside the Interior Ministry and other government institutions can make the system vulnerable.

    Security is generally tight in Sharm el-Sheikh, one of Egypt’s most important tourism destinations and the site of a number of major international conferences. Dozens of international and regional airlines fly to the city.

    A senior official with Metrojet had said Monday that the company ruled out pilot error or a technical malfunction as the cause — seeming to point to malfeasance. The comments elicited a stern rebuke from Russian officials.

    U.S. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. said Monday that there was no “direct evidence of terrorist involvement yet” but that it could not be ruled out.

    [Map: The growing list of no-go zones for U.S. airlines]

    Several carriers fly direct between London and Sharm el-Sheikh, including British Airways, Monarch Airlines and EasyJet. British passengers late Wednesday tweeted that they had been left stranded at the airport, with airlines providing no information about when their flights might depart or how they will be able to leave the city.

    Air France, Lufthansa and Emirates had earlier announced they would avoid flying over the Sinai Peninsula while Saturday’s crash remains under investigation. British Airways and other U.K.-based carriers, however, had not joined them.

    Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry said Wednesday that the plane’s cockpit voice recorder had been damaged in the crash, which could slow the investigation.

    Investigators have taken particular note that the tail of the aircraft was found about three miles from much of the rest of the debris, which fluttered down in pieces from an explosion tens of thousands of feet above the Earth’s surface.

    It the tail broke loose first, the pilot would lose the ability to control the plane. That circumstance would be reminiscent of the worst crash of a single airplane in history, the 1984 crash of Japan Airlines Flight 123 that killed 520 people.

    Cunningham reported from Cairo. Heba Habib in Cairo, Ashley Halsey III and Adam Goldman in Washington, and Karla Adam in London contributed to this report.

    Read more:

    Militant cells are carrying out more brazen attacks across Egypt
    Russian airline official rules out technical error as cause of crash
    Today’s coverage from Post correspondents around the world

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...306_story.html
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    The impression I was getting was that it was determined that ISIS had a person who sneaked a bomb onto a plane. I don't think Putin is going to want to accept that, because it means he would have to start bombing ISIS all over the place, instead of just the groups that are a direct threat to the Assad regime.
    ManxMouse and Bellatheball like this.

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    A*O
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    Knowing how lax airport "security" is in that part of the world I'm not at all surprised that a bomb was planted on the plane (if it's confirmed that's what happened). I'm sure there are ISIS operatives or sympathisers working in airports all over the world too. This will happen again. This is WW3.
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    The Allied troops vs. the Evil Axis of Baggage Handlers

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    It will be interesting/terrifying to see how Putin handles this.

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    ^^^^ I agree.

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    A*O
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    If he nukes ISIS off the face of the Earth I'd support him 110%. It seems no other "leader" has the balls to do it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    If he nukes ISIS off the face of the Earth I'd support him 110%. It seems no other "leader" has the balls to do it.
    I hate to say this as I can't stand Putin, or war, but I tend to agree. ISIS is a huge threat.

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    A number of analysts think that Putin may end up dramatically broadening the conflict by increasing the number of muslims who feel compelled to go to the Middle East to help defend ISIS. Although, I find it hard to believe that there are quite that many psychopaths in the world.

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    Isis releases Dabiq magazine claiming to reveal how it brought down the Russian plane in Sinai

    http://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/isis-releases-dabiq-magazine-claiming-to-reveal-how-it-brought-down-the-russian-plane-in-sinai/ar-BBnalW2?li=AAabC8j&ocid=

    The Independent
    Adam Withnall 18 hrs ago



    (© Independent) The IED Isis says it used to bring down the bomb .


    The Isis militant group has released the latest edition of its propaganda magazine, in which it claims to reveal how it brought down the Russian jet over Sinai.

    The new edition of the "Dabiq" magazine, published in English, claims the plane was bombed using an improvised explosive device hidden inside a can of Schweppes Gold pineapple juice.

    Entitled "Just Terror", the cover displays an image of one of the victims of the Paris attacks being treated by the emergency services.

    And in its foreword, it claims to reveal how militants "discovered a way to compromise the security at Sharkm el-Sheikh airport" to bring down the Metrojet airliner on 31 October.

    In the magazine, whose claims cannot be independently verified, the militant group published an image apparently showing an IED and the can it was hidden in prior to the bombing.

    It also claims that "after resolving to bring down a plane belonging to a nation in the American-led Western coalition against Isis, the target was changed to a Russian plane"

    "A bomb was smuggled onto the airplane," it adds, not explaining exactly how - and leaving the implication that it could strike again in the same way.

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