A Russian airliner has crashed in Central Sinai with more than 200 people on board feared to be dead. The office of Egypt’s prime minister confirmed the news after a few initial conflicting media reports. Also Read - Germanwings plane crash: Here's how the cockpit door of the Airbus A320 works and why it could be the reason the plane crashed
As per reports, the Airbus A-321 had just taken off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, on its way to the Russian city of St Petersburg. Initial reports claimed that the aircraft had safely left the Egyptian air space and disappeared somewhere over Cyprus. Also Read - Germanwings Airbus A320 passenger jet crashes in South France, 148 feared dead
But an Egyptian air accident chief said the Airbus had gone off the radar and crashed in the Sinai Peninsula. The plane is operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia based in West Siberia, and most of the passengers are believed to be Russian tourists. Latest reports say it was carrying 217 passengers and a crew of seven. Also Read - TransAsia plane crash: In-car dashcam captures plane crashing into the river
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The Russian aviation authority Rosaviatsiya said in a statement that flight 9268 left Sharm el-Sheikh at 6:51AM (local time) and was due into St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport at 12:10PM. The authority added that the aircraft failed to make scheduled contact with Cyprus air traffic control 23 minutes after take-off and disappeared from the radar.