EgyptAir Flight 804: First Day Updates on Plane Crash With 66 Onboard

By Petr Svab
Petr Svab
Petr Svab
Petr Svab is a reporter covering New York. Previously, he covered national topics including politics, economy, education, and law enforcement.
May 19, 2016 Updated: October 5, 2018

EgyptAir Flight 804 from Paris to Cairo, carrying 66 people, crashed early May 19 into the Mediterranean Sea off the Greek island of Crete, Egyptian officials say.

EgyptAir has stated earlier that wreckage of the plane has been found near Karpathos Island, about 220 miles southeast of Athens.

But a senior Greek air safety official says the debris found so far in the Mediterranean Sea does not belong to an aircraft.

The airline later confirmed to CNN that the plastic objects and life jackets found in the sea did not belong to their aircraft.

The flight took of at 11:09 p.m. (local time) on May 18 from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France and radar contact was lost at 2:45 a.m. on May 19 above the Mediterranean Sea between Greek island of Crete and Egypt.

Here Is What We Know:

Athanassios Binis, head of Greece’s Air Accident Investigation and Aviation Safety Board, told state ERT TV that “an assessment of the finds showed that they do not belong to an aircraft.” He says Thursday this has been confirmed by Egyptian authorities.

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stéphane Dion, confirmed two Canadians were aboard the plane.

Infrared and multi-spectral imagers “strongly suggest” explosion happened aboard the flight, a senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the U.S.’s capabilities in the region told NBC News. He said it remains a question what may have caused an explosion.

EgyptAir published a press release on the finding of the wreckage of the plane at about 7 p.m. local time:

EGYPTAIR resource stated that the Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation has just received an official letter from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that confirms the finding of wreckage of the missing aircraft No. MS 804 near Karpathos Island.

EGYPTAIR sincerely conveys its deepest sorrow to the families and friends of the passengers onboard Flight MS804.

Family members of passengers and crew have been already informed and we extend our deepest sympathies to those affected.

the Egyptian Investigation Team in co-operation with the Greek counterpart are still searching for other remains of the missing plane.

Karpathos Island, Greece. (Screenshot of Google Maps)
Karpathos Island, Greece. (Screenshot of Google Maps)

All maintenance checks on the plane had been done on time. There were no snags reported in technical log, EgyptAir Vice-President Ahmed Adel told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

U.S. State Secretary John Kerry expressed condolences to Egypt and to “all other countries impacted by the disappearance” of Flight 804.

British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said he has dispatched Royal Navy support ship RFA Lyme Bay, which is in the Mediterranean, and a C-130 Hercules aircraft from Royal Air Force base Akrotiri in Cyprus to support the Egyptian-led search effort. He says “we stand ready to offer further assistance” if needed.

U.S. officials are operating on an initial theory that EgyptAir Flight 804 was taken down by a bomb, two U.S. officials told CNN. One senior administration official said the theory is not yet supported by a “smoking gun.”

A Greek frigate searching for the plane discovered two large plastic floating objects and two life jackets about 230 miles south of Crete island, Al Arabian English reported.

The news outlet also released a footage purportedly showing one of the objects found.

Purported pieces of wreckage found.

U.S. NAVY’s providing P-3 Orion airplane in support of search for the plane

Israeli officials said the plane crash was caused by a “terror attack,” according to a Tweet by Alon Ben-David, senior defense correspondent for Israel’s Channel 10.

The head of Russia’s top domestic security agency says the crashed Egyptian jet has apparently been brought down by a terror attack. Alexander Bortnikov said on Thursday that “in all likelihood it was a terror attack” causing the crash

The airline released nationalities of the passengers: 30 Egyptian, 15 French, 2 Iraqi, 1 British, 1 Belgian, 1 Kuwaiti, 1 Saudi, 1 Sudanese, 1 Chadian, 1 Portugese, 1 Algerian, 1 Canadian

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Petr Svab
Petr Svab
Petr Svab is a reporter covering New York. Previously, he covered national topics including politics, economy, education, and law enforcement.