Search for missing EgyptAir plane continues

Greek authorities deny earlier claim that wreckage of the missing EgyptAir plane found in the Mediterranean

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

An EgyptAir Airbus 320-200, which vanished from radar en route from Paris to Cairo.

The material Greece has found so far floating in the Mediterranean in its search for the missing EgyptAir airliner which vanished earlier on Thursday is not blue and white, Greek defence sources said.

Earlier, Egypt's envoy to France said Greek authorities had informed his counterpart in Athens that they had found debris corresponding to EgyptAir's blue and white colours.

"We have not located such objects," a spokesman for the Greek military said.

The airline had also announced that the wreckage from an EgyptAir plane carrying 66 people which crashed on Thursday in the Mediterranean Sea has been found.

Investigators are probing whether it was downed by an attack or a technical problem.

An Egyptian military search boat takes part in a search operation for the EgyptAir plane that disappeared in the Mediterranean Sea in this still image taken from video May 19, 2016. (Reuters)

Egyptian minister Sherif Fathy said, "I don't deny the hypothesis of a terrorist attack or something technical. It is too early."

In October last year DAESH terrorists carried out an attack on a Russian passenger jet in Egypt, killing all 224 passengers on board.

Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos said the plane had fallen 22,000 feet (6,700 metres) and swerved sharply twice in Egyptian airspace before it disappeared from radar screens.

The jet was flying from Paris to Cairo overnight when it vanished without sending a distress signal.

The flight path of EgyptAir flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo is seen on a flight tracking screen May 19, 2016. Courtesy via Reuters.

French President Francois Hollande said the plane had "crashed" as authorities in both Paris and Cairo opened investigations.

Egypt and Greece both dispatched aircraft and naval vessels on a search mission and they were expected to be joined by French teams.

The passengers also included two Iraqis and one citizen from each of Algeria, Belgium, Chad, Portugal, Saudi Arabia and Sudan, as well as 30 Egyptians, the airline said. They included a boy and two babies. 

Seven crew members and three security men were also on board. Fifteen French citizens were among the 26 foreign passengers on the EgyptAir flight.

Greek civil aviation chief Constantinos Litzerakos said the pilot had mentioned no problem in the last communication before the plane disappeared, and it had not deviated from its course.

The civil aviation chief said if there had been an explosion, any debris would have scattered across a wide area.