US: Egyp­tAir im­agery shows no signs of blast

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

WASH­ING­TON—A US re­view of satel­lite im­agery so far has not pro­duced any signs of an ex­plo­sion aboard the Egyp­tAir flight that crashed on Fri­day en route from Paris to Cairo, car­ryig 66 peo­ple on board, of­fi­cials from mul­ti­ple US agen­cies told Reuters.

The of­fi­cials, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity to dis­cuss in­tel­li­gence mat­ters, said the con­clu­sion was the re­sult of a pre­lim­i­nary ex­am­i­na­tion of im­agery and cau­tioned against me­dia re­ports sug­gest­ing the United States be­lieved a bomb was re­spon­si­ble for the crash.

The United States has not ruled out any pos­si­ble causes for the crash, in­clud­ing me­chan­i­cal fail­ure, ter­ror­ism or a de­lib­er­ate act by the pi­lot or crew, they said.

Mean­while, Egyp­tAir said Thurs­day that wreck­age from its pas­sen­ger plane that crashed into the Mediter­ranean early in the day has been found.

“The 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,” it said in English on its Twit­ter ac­count.

It added: “The Egyp­tian In­ves­ti­ga­tion Team in co-op­er­a­tion with the Greek coun­ter­part are still search­ing for other re­mains of the missing plane.”

On Thurs­day evening, Egyp­tAir also of­fered its con­do­lences to the fam­i­lies of the vic­tims.

How­ever, Greek de­fense sources said the ma­te­rial found so far float­ing in the Mediter­ranean in its search for the missing Egyp­tAir air­liner is not blue and white.

Ear­lier, Egypt’s en­voy to France said Greek au­thor­i­ties had in­formed his coun­ter­part in Athens that they had found de­bris cor­re­spond­ing to Egyp­tAir’s blue and white col­ors.

“We have not lo­cated such ob­jects,” a spokesman for the Greek mil­i­tary said. Ear­lier, Greek de­fense sources said ob­jects found float­ing about 230 miles south of the is­land of Crete in­cluded what ap­peared to be plas­tic col­ored red and white, and life­jack­ets. Sisi de­mands in­ten­si­fied search

Egyp­tian Pres­i­dent Ab­del Fat­tah al-Sisi also de­manded au­thor­i­ties “in­ten­sify the search” for Egyp­tAir’s wreck­age. “The pres­i­dent has is­sued in­struc­tions to all con­cerned state bod­ies, in­clud­ing the min­istry of civil avi­a­tion... naval and air forces to in­ten­sify the search for the Egyp­tian plane and to take all nec­es­sary mea­sures to find the plane de­bris,” said the state­ment. Be­fore Sisi’s or­ders, Reuters re­ported two Greek gov­ern­ment sources as say­ing on Thurs­day that Athens will scale back search and res­cue as­sets de­ployed to find the missing air­liner af­ter ob­jects thought to be from the air­craft were found in waters un­der Egyp­tian ju­ris­dic­tion.

Greece had de­ployed a frigate and air as­sets to the area south of the is­land of Karpathos. A trans­port air­craft would re­main in the area.

Greek au­thor­i­ties ear­lier re­ported the air­craft took a sharp 90 de­gree turn left, and then spun 360 de­grees in the op­po­site di­rec­tion as it plunged from cruising al­ti­tude of 37,000 feet to 15,000 feet be­fore dis­ap­pear­ing off radars.

As search con­tin­ues for the missing plane for Flight MS804, spec­u­la­tion mounted that the jet was downed by a ter­ror­ist at­tack. The head of Rus­sia’s do­mes­tic in­tel­li­gence agency, Alexan­der Bort­nikov said he thought that the jet had been downed by ter­ror­ists. “Ap­par­ently, it is a ter­ror­ist at­tack,” Bort­nikov was cited as say­ing by Rus­sia’s TASS news agency. Egyp­tian avi­a­tion min­is­ter Sherif Fathy also weighed in, say­ing at a press con­fer­ence that “pos­si­bil­ity of [the doomed Egyp­tAir flight] hav­ing a ter­ror at­tack is higher than the pos­si­bil­ity of hav­ing a tech­ni­cal [prob­lem],” he said.

Greek au­thor­i­ties are comb­ing their waters in an at­tempt to lo­cate air­craft wreck­age. Mil­i­tary spokesman Vas­silis Belet­si­o­tis said that “there have been finds south­east of Crete, inside the Cairo flight in­for­ma­tion area.” He added that an Egyp­tian C-130 plane had spot­ted the float­ing ob­jects, and ships would be sent to in­ves­ti­gate.

The Egyp­tAir flight 804 from Paris to Cairo with 56 pas­sen­gers and 10 crew on board went missing in the Mediter­ranean Sea early Thurs­day morn­ing. The air­line said Flight 804 from Paris to Cairo van­ished 2:45 a.m. Egypt time. The plane was an Air­bus A320 and that its last known po­si­tion was above the Mediter­ranean Sea, re­port­edly fly­ing at a height of 37,000 ft.—Agen­cies

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.