EgyptAir flight 804 and its 66 passengers disappeared from the radar during its flight from Paris to Cairo. According to Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, the plane swerved 90 degrees to the left, then spun 360 degrees to the right. After plunging from 37,000 feet to 15,000, it vanished from Greek radar screens.
The flight seemed to have been proceeding normally up until it started approaching the border between Greek and Egyptian airspace. Greek air traffic controllers attempted to contact with the plane in order to transfer control of the flight to Egyptian controllers. Several attempts were made to establish contact but the Greek officials received no response.
“We do not deny there is a possibility of terrorism or deny the possibility of technical fault,” Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sharif Fathi said at a Cairo news conference. “I will continue to use the term missing plane until we find any debris.”
“I don’t want to go to speculation. I don’t want to go to assumptions like others. But if you analyze this situation properly, the possibility of having a different action aboard, of having a terror attack, is higher than having a technical problem,” he added.
Despite Fathi’s statements, there seems to be more and more cause for referring to the plane as “crashed” rather than “missing.” A search party was quickly dispatched from Greece to try to locate the plane. Greek officials have reported that pieces of plastic and two life vests were found floating some 230 miles south of Crete. Egyptian search and rescue officials have confirmed these sightings. Authorities are still reluctant to make any definitive statements regarding the cause of the crash.
“Unfortunately the information we have … confirms to us that the plane came down and is lost. No hypothesis can be ruled out, nor can any be favored over another,” said French President Francois Hollande