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Russian Passenger Plane Crashes In Sinai, Killing All 224 On Board Flight

Sat, October 31, 2015 11:37am EDT by 4 Comments

A Russian airliner tragically crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on October 31, leaving no survivors. There were 224 people on board the St. Petersburg-bound jet, which was described as “disappearing” shortly after takeoff.

A technical glitch felled a Russian Airbus A320 about 180 miles east of Cairo, Egypt on the morning of October 31. The jet, carrying 224 passengers and crew members, crashed in the al-Hasana area of Sinai, south of the city of al-ArishAt, according to Egypt’s government and Russia’s Federal Aviation Agency. Over 100 bodies have so far been found; that heartbreakingly includes 17 children.

“A lot of the dead are on the ground, and many died whilst strapped to their seats. I now see a tragic scene,” said a distraught Egyptian security officer at the crash site. “The plane split into two, a small part on the tail end that burned and a larger part that crashed into a rock. We have extracted at least 100 bodies and the rest are still inside.”

The smoldering wreckage of the Russian Airbus was spotted by Egyptian military planes in the mountainous region of the central part of Sinai, according to a statement released by Egypt’s cabinet on October 31. The plane took off from Egypt’s Red Sea resort at Sharm al-Sheikh, and set course for St. Petersburg, Russia; it was only in the air for 25 minutes after reaching 31,000 feet. It then suddenly “disappeared,” said joint reports from the Russian Federal Aviation Agency and Egypt’s Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The Airbus pilot reportedly asked for emergency clearance to land at the Cairo airport due to a technical malfunction, before the plane disappeared. The jet was carrying 217 passengers and seven crew members when it crashed. The passengers included three Ukrainian nationals, 138 women, 62 men and 17 children.

Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab‘s office said that an emergency program was being formed to “follow up on the situation,” according to The Washington Post. Russian President Vladimir Putin declared October 31 a “day of mourning,” and expressed his “deepest condolences” to the families affected by the crash. Putin has ordered Russian emergency workers to the crash site, and will form a government commission in Moscow to assess the situation.

Sinai is a hugely popular destination for Russian tourists, especially when temperatures dramatically drop in Russia as winter nears. About three million Russian tourists traveled to Egypt in 2014 on vacation, according to Egyptian Tourism Minister Khaled Abbas Rami. It’s so sickening to think that these people were killed while just trying to enjoy a needed vacation.

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Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of all those on board the flight.

— Samantha Wilson