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EgyptAir flight MS804 crash: What we know so farIBTimes UK

The search for the wreckage of EgyptAir flight MS804 is continuing in the Mediterranean Sea after the Airbus A320 is thought to have spun violently out of control on Thursday (20 May) and plummeted into the water.

Fifty six passengers - including Briton Richard Osman - and 10 crew perished when the aircraft dropped out of the sky from 37,000 feet, 10 miles into Egyptian airspace en route to Cairo from Paris.

EgyptAir moved to deny reports that debris spotted near the crash site was that of the missing plane. Egyptian, French and Greek authorities are continuing their search with the UK and US governments making assistance available.

The cause of the crash remains a mystery but the Egyptian government has said it looks increasingly unlikely the incident was the result of a catastrophic mechanical failure. Russian and US intelligence also believe indications point towards a terror attack.

IBTimes UK brings you updates of the search and investigation.

18:45

This concludes our coverage of the EgyptAir MS804 search. Check with IBTimes UK for the latest updates.

17:53

Doubt is being cast on whether the crash was caused by a terrorist attack. Over the past 36 hours Egyptian authorities have said they believe extremists were to blame for the disappearance of the flight,

However, PA referred to one terror analyst is in contact with members of IS and other Islamist groups who said there were "no credible or even semi-credible" claims of responsibility.

London based analyst Shiraz Maher, at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, said IS recently released a 20-minute video on plans to conquer India. The Kings College London Academic also said: "If they had been involved in the crash, it would be very odd for them to have sent that video rather than boasting of the crash."

17:20

EgyptAir has reposted previous information from Egypt's Civil Aviation Ministry concerning the discovery of more debris from the missing flight,

16:56
Relatives of the victims of the missing EgyptAir flight
Relatives of the victims of the missing EgyptAir flight MS804 hold an absentee funeral prayer in a mosque nearby Cairo airportReuters

Photos have emerged of relatives of the missing EgyptAir flight holding a funeral in the absence of their loved ones. The families, who have gathered in Cairo to hear the latest information from Egyptian officials, have complained about the lack of consistent information about the whereabouts and wreckage of the plane.

16:24

EgyptAir has released a short statement on the new debris found.

EgyptAir Official said that Egyptian Military and Marine Forces have discovered more debris, passengers' belongings, body parts, luggage, and aircraft seats. Search is still in progress

16:07

More debris from flight MS804, including some of the passengers' belongings, body parts, luggage, and plane seats have been found, AP reports quoting an EgyptAir official.

16:03

According to AFP, over the past 16 months authorities have refused or revoked security clearances for the so-called reserved zone at Paris' Roissy airport in 600 instances. In 85 cases the pass was denied to ground staff or other personnel suspected of holding radical Islamist views.

Controls were tightened after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January last year. Despite the crackdown the agency quoted a source as saying that the 400 "disturbing cases of radicalisation" were still among the 86,000 permits granted.

The revelation comes as French police probing the possibility that an explosive device could have been loaded aboard the Airbus A320 before it took off for Cairo interviewed staff as the airport. The lead is just one of many followed by investigators as causes for the crash are not yet clear.

15:35

The Egyptian army has published a video showing planes and vessels involved in the search operations for MS804.

15:03

No terrorism suspects were aboard flight MS804, European security officials have told AP. The news agency quoted three security sources as saying that the passengers manifesto has been cross referenced with the current terror watch lists used by both European and American security and law enforcement agencies, yielding no results.

14:50

Marinetraffic, a ship tracking website, has released an animation showing the search effort in the Mediterranean. A number of vessels are seen converging on the search area from Greek and Egyptian waters.

14:05

The European Space Agency (ESA) has released photos of an oil slick that its satellites spotted in the area of the Mediterranean Sea where flight MS804 disappeared from radars.

ESA said it Sentinel-1A took a first picture of the 2 km long slick on 19 May at 16:00 GMT.

"According to the satellite image, the slick was at 33°32' N / 29°13' E – about 40 km southeast of the last known location of the aircraft," the agency said.
A second photo was taken by the Sentinel-2A satellite on 20 May at 04:00 GMT shows the slick has drifted some 5 km away.

"ESA has given information related to the image to the relevant authorities to support the search operations," ESA said, adding it could not confirm the slick was from the plane.

"Since the plane disappeared, ESA and experts have been scrutinising satellite data to see if anything could be found to indicate wreckage or oil floating on the sea.

"Both Sentinel satellites were launched as part of Europe's environmental monitoring Copernicus programme, led by the European Commission."

EgyptAir oil slick
ESA

13:07
A Hellenic Air Force Erieye EMB-145H AEW&C aircraft
A Hellenic Air Force Erieye EMB-145H AEW&C aircraft taxis on tarmac after landing at the 133rd Hellenic Air Force Base in Kasteli on the island of Crete, Greece, May 20, 2016.Reuters

Pictures have emerged of Greek aircraft involved in the search for the missing EgyptAir flight.

12:59

The US State Department has released a statement on a phone call between Secretary of State John Kerry and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.

12:30

AP has reported that the body part, two seats and suitcases were recovered from the search area slightly to the south of where flight MS804 vanished from radar signals early Thursday.

The location was slightly north of where debris had been found on Thursday afternoon near the Greek Island of Karpathos but which authorities have not been able to identify as having come from the crashed EgyptAir flight.

12:14

Greece's defence minister says items found by Egyptian authorities in search for of EgyptAir Flight 804 include a body part, 2 seats and suitcases.

11:47

Here is a Reuters graphic detailing the major international flight crashes in recent years.

Air accidents

11:18

Egypt's president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said has expressed "deep sadness and extreme regret" at the deaths of passengers and crew of EgyptAir Flight 804, saying all those on board were likely killed in the crash.

10:55

EgyptAir says it "sincerely conveys its deepest sorrow" to the of the victims in a Facebook statement. Here is the full text:

10:37

Aviation experts have said the sharp turns made by the aircraft moments before it disappeared from radars suggest some action happening in the cockpit rather than a bomb might have brought down flight MS804.

"One's inclined to go towards the theory that there had been some interference in the aircraft and on the flight deck, with the control of the aircraft," Mike Vivian, former head of operations at the UK's Civil Aviation Authority, told the BBC. "It looks highly unlikely that this was consistent with some sort of explosive device".

10:25

After the military announcement, EgyptAir has released a statement in Arabic expressing its condolences to the families of the 66 people who were on board flight MS804.

10:18

In a Facebook statement Egyptian army spokesman Brig. Gen. Mohammed Samir says the debris, including parts of the fuselage, has been found 180 miles (290km) north of the city of Alexandria.

10:00

Wreckage from EgyptAir flight 804 has been found, Egyptian military official tell AFP.

Egyptian state TV adds that search vessels located debris from the missing plane including passengers' belongings

09:44

An international team of experts have arrived in Cairo to join the investigation into the EgyptAir flight 804, Egyptian airport officials say.

The group comprises three British investigators, three French colleagues and AirBus technical expert.

09:31

The Facebook page of co-pilot Mohamed Mamdouh Ahmed Assem has been turned into a commemorative page, with the caption "remembering" above his name.

Assem, who lived in Cairo, was an experienced pilot with 2,766 flying hours. People who knew him said flying had always been his dream.

"He wanted to be a pilot since he was 5," Omar Nasef, a childhood friend told The Daily Beast. "All that I know is that he loved flying. That was his dream job and that's it."

EgyptAir co-pilot
The co-pilot of missing EgyptAir flight MS804 Mohamed Mamdouh Ahmed Assem Facebook