Reports suggest that the debris found that was suspected to belong to EgyptAir Flight MS804, which disappeared from radar on Thursday and crashed, was not from the plane.
Thus, the search for the flight’s wreckage is ongoing. EgyptAir’s Vice Chairman Ahmed Adel told CNN that the searchers gathered debris that was found in the Mediterranean Sea. They later realised that the wreckage was not from the missing plane. The Airbus A320 was en route from Paris to Cairo and had a total of 66 people onboard composed of 56 passengers and 10 crew members. Initially, Adel claimed that the plane’s debris was found, but he withdrew the statement later on.
“We stand corrected on finding the wreckage because what we identified is not a part of our plane. So the search and rescue is still going on,” Adel confirmed on CNN’s “The Lead With Jake Tapper.”
Until now, no group has come forward to claim responsibility for any apparent attack. In a statement, EgyptAir showed its sympathy to the families affected. “Family members of passengers and crew have been already informed and we extend our deepest sympathies to those affected,” the statement read.
There are speculations of the involvement of the Islamic State or other extremist groups in the matter. “It’s very difficult to come up with a scenario that jibes with some sort of catastrophic failure. (The evidence so far) leads us down the road to a deliberate act,” CNN aviation analyst Miles O’Brien said. On the other hand, Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sharif Fathi claimed that terrorism is more likely to be the cause of the crash. “The possibility of having a terror attack is higher than having a technical problem,” he said as quoted by The Guardian.
The authorities have confirmed the presence of an Australian passenger on the plane. “I regretfully confirm that one of the passengers on Egypt Air flight MS804, en route from Paris to Cairo, was an Australian-UK dual national. We are working closely with UK authorities, which are taking the lead in the provision of consular assistance to the man’s family,” said Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
“The government is working with our partners and allies to understand the reasons behind the flight’s disappearance and presumed crash. It is too early to speculate on the cause of this incident.”