The Latest: Egyptian army: wreckage of missing plane found

 

CAIRO (AP) — The Latest on the disappearance of EgyptAir Flight 804 (all times local):

11:35 p.m.

The Egyptian presidency has expressed its “deep sadness and extreme regret” over the deaths of the 66 passengers and crew members aboard EgyptAir Flight 804.

The Friday statement is the first official recognition of the tragic crash of the missing plane. It came minutes after the Egyptian army announced for the first time that it located plane debris and passengers’ personal belongings some 190 miles (306 kilometers) north of the city of Alexandria in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Airbus A320 plane was flying from Paris to Cairo when it disappeared early Thursday over the sea.

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11:15 a.m.

Egyptian airport officials say that investigators will inspect the plane debris and personal belongings that the Egyptian army says it found 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of the city of Alexandria.

The officials said Friday that the chief Egyptian investigator Ayman el-Mokadam will be joined by French and British investigators as well as an expert from Airbus.

The Airbus 320 plane operated by EgyptAir was carrying 66 people from Paris to Cairo when it disappeared off radar at around 2.45 a.m. local time in Egypt.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

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11:00 a.m.

The Egyptian army says it has found wreckage of the missing EgyptAir flight 804, which crashed after disappearing from the radar while carrying 66 passengers and crew from Paris to Cairo.

The Egyptian army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Samir, says in a statement posted on his Facebook page Friday that Egyptian jets and naval vessels participating in the search for the missing plane have found “personal belongings of the passengers and parts of the plane debris,” 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of the city of Alexandria.

The Airbus 320 lost contact at 2.45 a.m. local time Thursday morning.

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10:15 a.m.

Egyptian airport officials say that three French and three British investigators and an Airbus technical expert have arrived in Cairo to join the investigation into what caused EgyptAir flight 804 to crash while carrying 66 people bound for Cairo from Paris.

Authorities are continuing to search a wide area to the south of the Greek island of Crete Friday. The plane dropped off the radar while crossing the Mediterranean at around 2.45 a.m. local time Thursday morning.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

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8:45 a.m.

France’s foreign minister and a top transport official say there is still no sign of what brought down a Paris-Cairo EgyptAir flight in the Mediterranean.

Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Friday on France-2 television there is “absolutely no indication” of the cause.

The junior minister for transport, Alain Vidalies, said on France-Info radio that “no theory is favored” at this stage and urged “the greatest caution.”

A French military Falcon jet is helping in the search for debris. Vidalies said France could offer undersea search equipment and experts.

Amid fears it was an extremist attack, Vidalies defended security at Charles de Gaulle Airport, saying staff badges are revoked if there is the slightest security doubt.

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8:15 a.m.

The search is continuing for missing EgyptAir flight 804, which disappeared from the radar while carrying 66 passengers and crew from Paris to Cairo.

Authorities are scouring a wide area south of the Greek island of Crete on Friday to search for wreckage, over 24 hours after the Airbus 320 lost contact.

The Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos says that the plane swerved wildly before plummeting into the sea.

The Egyptian military says that no distress call was received from the pilot. The country’s aviation minister Sherif Fathi says the likelihood the plane was brought down by a terror attack is “higher than the possibility of a technical failure.”

The distressed relatives of those on board have spent the night in a hotel in Cairo while they await news.

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