A high ranking Russian official says in all likelihood, the disappearance and crash of an Egyptian jet was a terror attack.
Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia’s top domestic security agency, made the comment Thursday saying an attack was more likely to be the cause of EgyptAir Flight MS804’s disappearance than a technical failure.
The jet was enroute from Paris to Cairo when it disappeared from the radar off of the Greek island of Crete while it was travelling at an altitude of 37,000 ft. over the Mediterranean Sea.
The incident happened just 10 minutes after the Airbus A320 entered Egyptian airspace. Egypt’s state-run newspaper Al-Ahram quoted an airport official as saying the pilot did not send a distress call prior to the crash. Other reports have said a signal of some kind was sent out, though it wasn’t a distress call.
The flight was carrying 66 passengers and crew, including an unidentified Canadian.
Meanwhile, search and rescue teams have begun to search for the aircraft with reports saying two objects believed to be from the flight have been found.
The jet took off from Charles de Gaulle Airport late Wednesday night and the airline initially said 69 people were on board, but the number was later revised.
Speaking from Paris earlier on Thursday, French President Francois Hollande confirmed the plane had crashed saying no hypothesis was being ruled out.
“When we have the truth we need to draw all the conclusions,” Hollande said. “At this stage, we must give priority to solidarity toward the families” of the victims.
Last October, a Russian plane flying from Egypt crashed into the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board. Moscow said it was brought down by an explosive device.
With files from Global News