EgyptAir Flight Disappears Over Mediterranean with 66 Passengers Onboard

CAIRO – An EgyptAir flight travelling from Paris to Cairo Thursday morning disappeared from radar screens with 66 passengers, including three children and 10 crewmembers, on board.

Flight MS804 left Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport at 23:09 local time (21:09 GMT) on Wednesday and was scheduled to arrive in the Egyptian capital shortly after 03:00 local time on Thursday.

Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry released a statement saying they were in the process of determining whether the plane crashed into the Mediterranean Sea.

Representatives from the airline said 30 Egyptians, 15 French, two Iraqi and one British citizen were onboard at the time of the plane’s disappearance. Unconfirmed reports also stated that citizens of Canada, Belgium, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan, Chad and Portugal were also included on the passenger list.

Egyptian and Greek authorities have mounted a joint search and rescue effort in the immediate vicinity of the plane's last known whereabouts.

In March, an EgyptAir flight from Alexandria to Cairo was hijacked and forced to divert to Cyprus, where a mentally disturbed hijacker demanded to see his ex-wife.

The incident came only months after a Russian passenger plane carrying holidaymakers from Sharm el-Sheikh exploded over the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board.

Islamic State militants later claimed responsibility, claiming the act was in retaliation for Russia’s military intervention in the Syrian Civil War.

By Tamar Svanidze
Edited by Nicholas Waller

19 May 2016 12:33