Uncertainty over Possible Causes of Sinai Airplane Crash Rises

World | November 5, 2015, Thursday // 15:02|  views

Debris from crashed Russian jet lies strewn across the sand at the site of the crash, Sinai, Egypt, 31 October 2015. Photo: EPA

Uncertainty over the possible causes of the Russian airplane crash in Egypt's Sinai peninsula has risen as US and UK intelligence suggested that the airplane might have been bombed.

Their suggestions are supported by the claims of militants affiliated to Islamic State (IS), who had accepted responsibility for taking down the airplane.

Russia and Egypt called for more caution over such theories, with Moscow describing them as "speculation", while Cairo noted that "no evidence" had yet been found to support them.

The Airbus A321 operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia was conducting flight 9268 between Sharm el-Sheikh and Saint Petersburg when it crashed in North Sinai shortly after take-off on October 31.

None of the 224 people on board, among whom were 217 passengers and seven crew members, survived the crash.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said that the government had examined all the information available, including the claim by militants affiliated to IS, and concluded that there was a significant possibility that the plane had been taken down.

Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson of Russian President Vladimir Putin, stated that such conclusion was premature.

Peskov added that theories on the likely causes of the incident can only be pronounced by the investigation.

Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Hossam Kamal said that the investigation team had no evidence or data supporting the bomb theory.

The investigation is conductted by Egypt with the help of Russian and other international experts.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi identified the IS claim as propaganda and assured that the investigation will be disclosed with all transparency.

At a press conference earlier this week, representatives of Kogalymavia blamed the crash on midair mechanical impact, but the head of the Russian aviation agency said that such talk was premature.

Kogalymavia announced on Thursday that it had suspended all flights of its Airbus A321 fleet.

Meanwhile, the UK has suspended flights to and from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Thursday, the BBC reports.

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Tags: Russia, Egypt, Kogalymavia, airplane, crash, Airbus A321, flight 9268, Sharm el-Sheikh, saint petersburg, US, UK, Philip Hammond, Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin, bomb, IS, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Sinai Peninsula


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