Hil­lel leader killed in hor­ror crash

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY AN­SHEL PF­EF­FER

A YOUNG Jewish woman was among the 224 peo­ple killed when a Rus­sian plane crashed in the Si­nai Penin­sula last Satur­day morn­ing.

Anna Tishin­skaya, 27, was on the char­tered flight trav­el­ling from Sharm el-Sheikh, a pop­u­lar re­sort, to St Peters­burg in Rus­sia.

The former St Peters­burg State Univer­sity stu­dent, who read his­tory, was the former di­rec­tor of Jewish stu­dent or­gan­i­sa­tion Hil­lel Rus­sia. Or­gan­i­sa­tion lead­ers ex­pressed hor­ror at the news, de­scrib­ing Ms Tishin­skaya as “part of the fam­ily.

“Anya, you were in­cred­i­bly ta­lented, swift, fear­less, sin­cere, kind and bright. You were a truly ex­tra­or­di­nary per­son.”

Mys­tery still sur­rounds the cir­cum­stances of the crash. The lo­cal af­fil­i­ate of Daesh claims to have shot the plane down, while both Egyp­tian and Rus­sian author­i­ties are dis­miss­ing this.

The fact that the wreck­age was scat­teredacros­seight­squaremile­sof desert, how­ever, in­di­cates that the plane could have bro­ken up in mid-flight, which would point to an ex­plo­sion.

Af­ter take-off, the Ko­ga­ly­mavia Air­bus A321 had climbed to 33,000 ft be­fore it rapidly lost height, crash­ing about 20 miles south of El Ar­ish.

There are con­flict­ing re­ports about whether the pi­lots had called air-traf­fic con­trol to no­tify them of an emer­gency and re­quest land­ing in an al­ter­na­tive air­field. The flight recorders have been

The re­mains of the Rus­sian air­line and ( re­trieved and are be­ing an­a­lysed by Rus­sian author­i­ties.

Since the Air­bus A320 fam­ily has an ex­cel­lent safety record, a struc­tural is­sue is un­likely. The claims made by the Si­nai branch of Daesh that it shot down the plane are also ques­tion­able since the or­gan­i­sa­tion is only known to have small shoul­der-launched anti-air­craft mis­siles, in­ca­pable of hit­ting a tar­get

Anna Tishin­skaya at over 11,000 ft. Two more plau­si­ble ex­pla­na­tions for the crash would be poor main­te­nance, which could have led to a fault in one of the en­gines, or a fire. There have been re­ports that in the days lead­ing up to the ac­ci­dent, the pi­lots had spo­ken about main­te­nance prob­lems with the air­craft.

Another­pos­si­bil­i­ty­would­bethemid­flight det­o­na­tion of a bomb stowed on the plane. The Egyp­tian gov­ern­ment is anx­ious that the crash is not seen as a re­sult of a ter­ror act, as they fear that one of their few re­main­ing sources of in­come — Rus­sian tourists fly­ing to the Si­nai beach re­sorts — could dry up.

PHOTO: REUTERS

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