The head of Russia’s top domestic security agency says the crashed Egyptian jet has apparently been brought down by a terror attack.
Alexander Bortnikov said on Thursday that “in all likelihood it was a terror attack” causing the crash of the EgyptAir Flight 804 from Paris to Cairo with 66 people on board, according to Russian news agencies.
Bortnikov, the head of the Federal Security Service, called for a joint action to track down those responsible for that “monstrous attack.”
Last October, a Russian plane flying from Egypt crashed into the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board. Moscow said it was brought down by an explosive device.
Greece’s Civil Aviation Authority says traffic controllers’ last communication with the EgyptAir pilot found him in good spirits. Greek air traffic controllers lost contact as the flight headed into the Egyptian area of responsibility.
The Civil Aviation Authority says the flight entered the Greek air traffic control area, or FIR, at 02:24 Greek time (2324 GMT), was identified and approved on its flight course and passed into the next section of air traffic control and was approved by the controller for the exit point of the Greek FIR.
Air traffic controllers tried to contact the pilot again at 03:27 local time for the handover of the plane to Cairo’s area of responsibility, but “despite repeated calls, the aircraft did not respond.”
Air traffic control then called on the emergency frequency and again there was no response. At 03:29, the aircraft was over the exit point of the Athens FIR, and at 03:29.40 it vanished from radar. The Greek authority said the military was asked for help in case the plane could be located on a military radar, but there was no sign of it. Search and rescue operations began at 03:45.