More than 24 hours after EgyptAir flight 804 went missing, wreckage from the aircraft has been found in the Mediterranean Sea.
An Egyptian army spokesperson says the debris and passenger belongings were located on Friday morning, 290 kilometres from Alexandria.
The Airbus 320 disappeared from radar early Thursday while carrying 66 people from Paris to Cairo. The government said two unidentified Canadian citizens were among passengers.
In a statement Thursday, Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion said, “based on the information currently available, we confirm that two Canadian citizens are among the passengers on this flight. We are providing consular assistance to the families and Canadian officials are working closely with the authorities to confirm whether there were any additional Canadian citizens on board.”
Global Affairs Canada did not release the names, or hometowns of the Canadian citizens. However, EgyptAir said there was only one Canadian on the passenger manifest. The airline confirmed to Global News that Marwa Hamdy was a Canadian passenger on board the flight. EgyptAir did not provide the passenger’s age or hometown.
The flight from Paris to Cairo disappeared from radar early Thursday morning, carrying 10 crew members and 56 passengers, and presumably crashed into the Mediterranean Sea.
Citing an informed source, EgyptAir said it had lost communication with radar tracking of the A320 Airbus. The company said the flight was at an elevation of 37,000 feet and disappeared after entering Egyptian airspace. The plane vanished within 16 kilometres of entering Egyptian airspace.
Earlier on Thursday, EgyptAir said 56 passengers and 10 cabin crew members were onboard the aircraft. Among the passengers are: 15 French nationals, 30 Egyptians, 1 Briton, 1 Belgian, 2 Iraqis, 1 Kuwaiti, 1 Saudi, 1 Sudanese, 1 Chadian, 1 Portuguese, 1 Algerian and 1 Canadian.
Around 12:30 p.m. Egyptian time French President Francois Hollande confirmed the plane had crashed saying no hypothesis has been 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.
Citing Greece’s defence minister, the Associated Press reported the flight made abrupt turns and suddenly dropped in altitude before disappearing from radar.
“It turned 90 degrees left and then a 360-degree turn toward the right, dropping from 38,000 to 15,000 feet and then it was lost at about 10,000 feet,” the news agency quoted Panos Kammenos as saying.
Speaking at a press conference, Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi said he doesn’t believe the plane’s disappearance was a result of a “technical failure.”
“The situation may point, and I say ‘may’ because I don’t want to go to speculations, I don’t want to go to assumptions like others,” Fathi said. “But, if you analyze the situation properly, the possibility of having a different action, having a terror attack is higher than the possibility than having a technical failure.”
A Greek military spokesman told Agence France-Presse news agency, possible wreckage was found off the Greek island of Crete.
“There have been finds southeast of Crete, inside the Cairo flight information area,” the news agency quoted general staff spokesman Vassilis Beletsiotis as saying.
Just before 7 p.m. EgyptAir confirms wreckage found is that of crashed Flight MS804. “Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation has just received an official letter from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that confirms the finding of wreckage of the missing aircraft No. MS 804 near Karpathos Island,” the airline said in a statement.
“EgyptAir sincerely conveys its deepest sorrow to the families and friends of the passengers onboard Flight MS804. Family members of passengers and crew have been already informed and we extend our deepest sympathies to those affected.”