Early speculation from Paris is reporting that the crash of EgyptAir flight MS802 was likely to have been caused by a terrorist. The Airbus A320 carrying 66 passengers, 10 crew lost by radar while flying at 37,000 feet above the Mediterranean. The plane left Paris en route to Cairo, disappeared from radar over the Mediterranean south of Greece on Thursday, with Athens saying the plane swerved in mid-air before plunging from cruising height and vanishing.
Egypt’s aviation minister said a terrorist attack was more likely to have taken down the aircraft than a technical failure. EgyptAir Vice President Ahmed Adel has since said in an interview with CNN that the wreckage of the missing plane has been found.
“There are so many reasons why a plane can fall from the sky and crash. We have no explanations at this stage. We need more investigation,” he said.
Egypt’s envoy to France said Greek authorities had informed his counterpart in Athens that they had found blue and white debris corresponding to EgyptAir’s colors. Greek defense sources however denied this statement, saying the material they had found floating in the Mediterranean is not blue and white.
Greece deployed aircraft and a frigate to search for the missing Airbus and officials said they had found pieces of plastic and two life vests that appeared to have come from an aircraft in the sea 370 kilometers (230 miles) south of Crete.
Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said it was too early to rule out any explanation, including an attack like the one blamed for bringing down a Russian airliner over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula last year.
In Paris and Cairo, airport security has been heightened over the past five hours and it is also expected that other airports in Europe will enhance their security. The search for both the plane and why it crashed will continue once daybreak happens in Greece on Friday morning.