THIS MORNING, AN EGYPTAIR PLANE flying from Paris to Cairo suddenly started making sharp turns before beginning to plunge in altitude above the Mediterranean Sea. Then, ground control lost contact. For several hours, there were reports of the plane “disappearing,” along with the 66 people on board. Then a few hours back, it was reported that searchers had found the wreckage of the plane near a Greek island called Karpathos.
As of publication, no one knows the reason behind the crash. US Secretary of State, John Kerry, is refusing to speculate: “I just don’t have the information on which to base this,” he said, “and I don’t think the experts have the information yet on which to base this, and nothing does more harm to people or countries than to start speculating ahead of time, so I’m — I don’t want to do that.”
Donald Trump has already started claiming that it was a terrorist attack, and though this claim is likely just an unfounded, cynical, and ugly political move on Trump’s part, there’s still a good chance that the crash was the result of terrorism.
Sherif Fathy, Egypt’s aviation minister, told reporters, “The possibility of a terror attack is higher than a malfunction, but again, I don’t want to hypothesize.”
There are a few reasons terrorism is suspected. Shortly before the plane started to crash, the pilot spoke with ground control in Greece, and, according to the Greek aviation agency, “was in good spirits,” suggesting that if there was a malfunction, it had not happened yet. So when contact with the plane suddenly cut out, it raised certain questions about what could have gone wrong in that short span of time. Les Abend, an aviation analyst for CNN, said that the sudden drop in altitude and 360-degree turn were not normal, saying, “Even if this is a potential explosive device, there’s got to be something different.”
That said, no cause has been confirmed yet. It may still have been a malfunction of some sort.
Upon discovering the airplane, an EgyptAir representative announced that the mission had been changed from “search and rescue” to “search and recovery.” All of the passengers then, are presumed dead. There were 30 Egyptians on board, 15 French, 2 Canadians, and passengers from Algeria, Belgium, Britain, Chad, Iraq, Kuwait, Portugal, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. There were three children on board, including two infants.
Officials hope that the search and recovery will help provide evidence of what happened on the plane, and France has opened an investigation, but for now, we’re still in the dark.
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