This was about the largest part of the Russian Metrojet destroyed by a bomb after leaving Sharm el-Sheikh. Metrojet Flight 9268 crashed Saturday, October 31, 2015 in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula killing 224 people.
(CNN)The only reasonable explanation for the crash of a Russian passenger jet in Egypt is “an external influence,” an executive from the airline that operated the flight said Monday, stressing that planes don’t just break apart in midair.
Kogalymavia Flight 9268 broke into pieces before it hit the ground in a remote area of Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, killing all 224 people on board.
The executive was not specific about what he meant by an external influence. Experts say it is too early to know for certain what caused the plane to break up at the start of what could be a lengthy investigation.
The state-run Russian news agency Sputniknews.com reported that the head of Rosaviatsia, the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency, had told Rossiya-25 television that claims that external factors could have caused the crash were not based in fact.
“It is completely premature to speak about the reasons of this, as there are not grounds. And I’d like to call on the aviation community to refrain from any premature conclusions,” it quoted Alexander Neradko, the agency chief, as telling the station.
CNN aviation correspondent Richard Quest suggested that the Kogalymavia official could have meant something abnormal and out of the ordinary had occurred.
“We exclude technical problems and reject human error,” the Kogalymavia airline official, Alexander Smirnov, said at a Moscow news conference as he discussed possible causes of the crash.
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The New York Times
MOSCOW — The mystery deepened Monday over the weekend crash of a Russian charter plane on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt that killed all 224 aboard, with company executives ruling out technical or human error only to be upbraided by aviation officials who called such assertions premature.
As representatives from at least five countries joined the investigation of the Airbus jetliner crash, new questions also arose about the aircraft’s repair history and the possibility that a terrorist act felled it on Saturday.
The Metrojet flight full of mostly Russian vacationers, bound for St. Petersburg from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheikh, plummeted after reaching cruising altitude, scattering in chunks and bits across Sinai. The lack of information has combined with unsubstantiated claims by the Islamic State that its militants destroyed the aircraft to avenge Russia’s immersion into the Syria war.
Senior officials at Metrojet, the charter company that operated the aircraft, sounded definitive in their insistence that the plane and crew were faultless.
“We absolutely exclude the technical failure of the plane, and we absolutely exclude pilot error or a human factor,” Aleksandr A. Smirnov, a former pilot and the airline’s deputy director for aviation, told a packed news conference in Moscow.
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