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EgyptAir flight MS804 crash: What is known so far as search enters second day

The Airbus A320 with 56 passengers and 10 crew members from Paris to Cairo is believed to have gone down in the Mediterranean

As the British military joins the search for the missing plane, here is what we know so far about the EgyptAir Flight MS804.

When did Flight MS804 disappear?

The plane similar to this one above vanished just under three-and-a-half hours after take-off from Charles de Gaulle Airport at 9.09pm GMT on Wednesday night. The flight, carrying 66 people, disappeared from radar 10 miles inside Egyptian air space at 2.45am Cairo time (12.45am GMT), about 40 minutes before it was due to land. Before it disappeared from radar screens, the plane spun all the way around and suddenly lost altitude.

Was a distress signal sent?

There was confusion over whether a distress signal had been sent by the Airbus A320.

Egypt’s civil aviation authority said one was received at 4.26am local time, believed to be an automated message rather than one sent by the pilot.

But in a statement on its website, the Egyptian military said later it had received no distress message from the aircraft .

Where is the search centred?

It is believed to have crashed into the Mediterranean Sea about halfway between the Greek island of Crete and Egypt’s coastline, or around 175 miles offshore. British military units have joined the second day of searching. On Thursday, EgyptAir reported that wreckage from the plane, including life jackets, had been found near the Greek island of Karpathos by the Greek authorities.

But EgyptAir’s vice chairman Ahmed Adel later told CNN that the items were not from flight MS804. The Airbus A320 was built in 2003 and was flying at 37,000ft, the airline said.

British military units - including the the Royal Fleet Auxiliary landing ship Lyme Bay and an RAF C130 Hercules aircraft - joined the search operation assisting the Greek, Egyptian and French authorities.

Who was on board?
There were 56 passengers on board, including a child and two babies, and 10 crew. The Briton on board has been named as father-of-two Richard Osman, originally from Carmarthen, Wales. His young brother Alastair described him as a kind and loving person and said Mr Osman had just become a father to a second daughter less than a month ago. The airline said the passengers included 30 Egyptians, 15 French, two Iraqis and one each from Britain, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria, Canada, Belgium, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia

What has caused the plane to crash?
The cause of the crash is unknown but officials have indicated it may have been a terror attack.

Egyptian civil aviation minister Sherif Fathi said the possibility it was a terror attack "is higher than the possibility of having a technical failure", while Alexander Bortnikov, chief of Russia’s top domestic security agency, said: "In all likelihood it was a terror attack."

But American authorities have said they have so far been unable to find any indication that an explosion took place on board the plane before it allegedly plunged 22,000ft into the sea. Authorities there say they are reviewing ‘intelligence collections’ in an attempt to cast light on what could have happened to the jet.

Jimirasire

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