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EgyptAir disappears with 66 passengers


EgyptAir Flight 804 headed from Paris to Cairo disappeared from radar with 66 people on board, anairline official said Thursday.

The plane was flying at 37,000 feet when it vanished with 56 passengers and 10 crew members, the airline tweeted.

The Egyptian navy is conducting search and rescue operations with help from Greek authorities.

Passengers on board the Airbus A320 included two infants and one child, said Capt. Ahmed Adel, a vice chairman at EgyptAir. Earlier, the airline said 69 people were on board. It was unclear why there were conflicting numbers.

The flight left Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport at 11:09 p.m. local time and was supposed to land in Cairo at 3.15 a.m. Thursday. Both the departure and arrival cities are in the same time zone.

The location of last contact was 173 miles (280 kilometers) from the Egyptian coast, the airline tweeted. That contradicted earlier information provided by the airline.

The plane’s captain had 6,000 flying hours while the first officer had 4,000, Adel said.

The Egyptian navy is conducting search and rescue operations in the area it vanished, CNN’s Ian Lee said from Cairo.

There was no special cargo on the flight and no notification of any dangerous goods aboard, Adel said. There was no confirmation of a distress call either, he said.

The plane entered EgyptAir’s service on November 3, 2003, he added.

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail has arrived at the command center at Cairo airport. The airline also provided phone numbers for the relatives of family members.

Those on board came from various nations including France, Egypt, Britain, Belgium, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria and Canada.

Conditions were clear and calm when the plane crossed over the Mediterranean Sea, according to CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri.

“The area in question in the eastern Mediterranean is currently under clear skies, but computer models suggest a storm system may impact the region as early as Friday afternoon,” he said.

Navy ships and fighter jets have been deployed in search for the missing plane.

The wreckage has been found near the Greek Island of Karpathos, per Egyptian Aviation officials.

A search and rescue operation is under way.

Officials say that the plane is more likely to have been brought down by a terrorist act rather than a mechanical failure.


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