Russian airliner with 224 aboard crashes in mountainous area of Egypt

Reuters, AFP-JIJI

A Russian airliner carrying 224 passengers and crew members crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, the Egyptian prime minister’s office and civil aviation ministry said.

The Airbus A-321, operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia with registration number KGL-9268, was flying at an altitude of 31,000 feet (9,450 meters) from the Sinai coastal resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg in Russia when it went down in a desolate mountainous area of central Sinai soon after daybreak, the aviation ministry said.

Egyptian military planes spotted the wreckage, and a Cabinet statement said 45 ambulances had been directed to the site to evacuate dead and wounded.

Seventeen children were among the passengers, Russia’s RIA news agency quoted a source in the Russian aviation authority as saying.

Egyptian security sources said there was no indication that the plane had been shot down. Islamist militants are active in parts of the Sinai.

Sergei Isvolsky, a spokesman for the Russian aviation authority, told the Interfax news agency that the plane took off from Sharm el-Sheikh at 6:51 a.m., and ground contact with it was lost with it about 25 minutes later.

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