Egypt’s plane “missing” until wreckage found

Egypt's Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy speaks at a press conference in Cairo, Egypt, on May 19, 2016.

Egypt’s Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy told a press conference Thursday that the EgyptAir passenger jet that disappeared earlier in the morning is still “missing” until its wreckage is found.

The Egyptian minister said it was too early to tell what caused the disappearance, and that the possibility of a terror activity or a technical failure cannot be ruled out.

“We have contradictory reports and it is difficult to rely on one of them without facts,” Fathy said.

EgyptAir said the missing plane, an Airbus A320, disappeared from radar screens en route from Paris to Cairo Thursday at 2:45 a.m. Cairo local time (0045 GMT) with 66 people aboard, including 30 Egyptians, 15 French, two Iraqis and one each from Algeria, Belgium, Portugal, Britain, Canada, Chad, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.

“We neither rule out the possibility of a terrorist attack nor confirm it,” the minister said.

Answering a question raised by a Xinhua reporter, the minister said that there is a high possibility that a crash was behind the plane disappearance, but he preferred not to jump to conclusions until the plane’s wreckage is found.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian top prosecutor has ordered an urgent, comprehensive investigation into the disappearance. (Xinhua)