Preliminary evidence shows that the plane was burned in the air.
According to the company, the two engines were inspected in Moscow on October 26 and no problems were detected. The crew did not report any failures in flight prior to the crash. No technical problems were reported in the five previous flights either.
“We ruled out a technical fault or crew errors,” said the deputy general manager of the company, Alexander Smirnov. “The only possible cause is an external action,” he said.
In Egypt, a source from the committee that conducted the preliminary analysis of the black box says that the plane was not hit from the outside and that the pilot made no distress calls before disappearing from radar.
The Kremlin, meanwhile, said Monday that there is still not enough proof to rule out any hypothesis. According to spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who responded a question about the possibility of terrorism being the cause of the accident, authorities are not ruling out any possibility.
The Russian plane with 224 passengers aboard that crashed Saturday in the Sinai Peninsula was destroyed in the air, reported Sunday the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) of Russia.
“The destruction took place in the air and the fragments were scattered over an area of about 20 square kilometers,” said Victor Sorochenko, executive director of CAI, after visiting the crash site.
However, he said “it is still early to draw conclusions” about the causes of the plane crash, the largest in the history of Russia.
The civil aviation agency, Rosaviatsia, rushed to endorse that theory, saying that all signs point to “the destruction of the structure of the plane at a great height”.
According to sources cited by the transport agency Tass, Russian experts found in the fragments of the wings of the A-321 that showed evidence “of thermal and physical shock” which denote the plane “was burned in the air.”
In sum, the plane had gone through a careful check-up on October 26 and no mechanical problems had been reported for five straight flights. The crew did not report any apparent problems prior to the aircraft disappearing from radar and apparently, as of now, there are no signs of an external agent having caused the accident.
These preliminary conclusions point to one direction only: the airplane was brought down with an explosive placed on board before take off. This theory is supported by the preliminary observation that the aircraft’s wing fragments showed evidence of thermal and physical shock which denotes the plane was burned in the air.
According to eyewitnesses, the plane, which had more than 18 years of service, was in flames before crashing down to the ground some 300 kilometers south of the city of Al Arish, the capital Egyptian of the North Sinai province.
A spokesman for the company, which denied the suspension of flights from the airline, promised a review of each and every aircraft.
In the same line, the former director of the company, Sergey Mordvintsev, said “the A-321 is a safe plane” and that “during its operation the engines never experienced any problems.”
The answer should be in the black boxes of the plane, that according to Russian Transport Minister, have suffered “minor technical damage”. The boxes will be examined by experts from both countries, but it is unclear when and where those examinations will take place.
According to Russian sources, they have found 171 bodies, mostly by search crews formed by local authorities.
One fact that contributes to facilitate the rescue are images that have been received from satellites in space and that clearly show the exact point of the disaster.
Forensic Russians have already examined more than a hundred dead bodies in morgues and hospitals in Cairo, although the identification work will take place in St. Petersburg. To that end, health services today and yesterday took blood samples from relatives of the victims of the tragedy to identify them via DNA.
Luis R. Miranda is an award-winning journalist and the founder and editor-in-chief at The Real Agenda. His career spans over 18 years and almost every form of news media. His articles include subjects such as environmentalism, Agenda 21, climate change, geopolitics, globalisation, health, vaccines, food safety, corporate control of governments, immigration and banking cartels, among others. Luis has worked as a news reporter, on-air personality for Live and Live-to-tape news programs. He has also worked as a script writer, producer and co-producer on broadcast news. Read more about Luis.