Another airline tragedy took place early today Oct. 31 sadly taking the lives of all 224 people on board (24 of whom were children). The incident occurred on a Russian jet, Airbus A321-200, operated by Metrojet that according to a report from Aljeezera, took off from the Sinai Peninsula’s Sharm el-Sheikh, a popular destination for Russian tourists, en route to St. Petersburg, and disappeared from radar screens. The jet went down in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula this morning in the Hassana area, south of the city of el-Arish where search and rescue team members are now gathering the remains of victims from a very wide area. It is thought that many tourists on the flight were returning from holidays in Egypt’s popular Sharm el-Sheikh resort. An Egyptian security officer at the scene said, “A lot of the dead are on the ground, and many died whilst strapped to their seats. I now see a tragic scene.” Friends and relatives of the victims are gathered at a hotel near St Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport. Aljeezera’s article told the sorrowful story of a newlywed couple named Elena Rodina and Alexqander Krotov who were on the flight. Both were 33 years old.
According to other news sources on the Internet, Germany’s Lufthansa and Air France said they would halt flights over Sinai until the reasons behind the crash became clear. The manifest included 214 Russians and three Ukrainians, plus seven crew members, according to a statement from the Egyptian government. Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a day of national mourning. As of this writing North Sinai security sources said a technical fault that caused the plane to split in two was responsible for the crash.
The Airbus 321 was at an altitude of 9,450m when it vanished from radar screens. The pilot reportedly requested clearance for an emergency landing at Cairo airport due to a technical malfunction. Later today Airbus issued a statement, which was run on eturbonews, saying it regrets to confirm that an by Metrojet was involved in an accident shortly after 6:17 local time (04:17 GMT) over the Sinai Peninsula today. The aircraft was operating a scheduled service, Flight 7K-9268 from Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt) to St. Petersburg (Russia). The concerns and sympathy of the Airbus employees go to all those affected by this tragic accident of Flight 7K-9268. Eturbonews explained that the aircraft involved in the accident, registered under EI-ETJ was MSN (Manufacturer Serial Number) 663, was produced in 1997 and since 2012 operated by Metrojet. The aircraft had accumulated some 56000 flight hours in nearly 21000 flights. It was powered by IAE-V2500 engines. At this time no further factual information is available.
This is one of more than a half-dozen airline incidents that have happened in the last month and the most tragic as all of the others, including one in Fort Lauderdale where a Boeing 767 jet bound for Caracas caught fire during takeoff and another where an engine fell off, had safe emergency landings with few or no serious injuries.