EgyptAir flight suddenly swerves, vanishes over Mediterranean

Greek officials said Thursday that an EgyptAir flight that disappeared over the Mediterranean en route from Paris to Cairo with 66 people aboard apparently made two sharp turns then suddenly lost altitude before vanishing from radar.

There was no immediate word on where the plane went down or what might have caused it to drop out of the sky from an altitude of 37,000 feet.

Defense Minister Panos Kammenos said the plane was last seen on radar at 15,000 feet, Reuters reports. At the time, EgyptAir says, the Airbus A320 was about 174 miles off the Egyptian coast and had just entered Egyptian airspace.

Egyptian and Greek authorities said the plane likely went down near the Greek island of Crete. Greece’s defense ministry mobilized a search and rescue operation. No wreckage has been located.

French President Francois Hollande confirmed the disappearance of flight MS804 but said it was too early to determine the cause of the crash.

“When we have the truth we need to draw all the conclusions,” Hollande said in Paris. “At this stage, we must give priority to solidarity toward the families” of the victims.

EgyptAir said on Twitter that the passengers included 30 Egyptians and 15 French and two Iraqis. Also onboard were one person each from Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria, Canada, Great Britain, Belgium, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. No Americans were reported to be aboard the plane.

source: USA Today