Russian plane with 224 people onboard crashes in Egypt's Sinai peninsula

A Russian airliner crashed today in Egypt's restive Sinai Peninsula, the office of the prime minister said in a statement.  

Russian plane with 224 people onboard crashes in Egypt's Sinai peninsula

Cairo: A Russian airliner carrying 217 passengers and seven crew members has gone missing over Egypt's Sinai peninsula and has possibly crashed, media reports said on Saturday

The flight took off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh and was heading to Russia.

As confusion continued to surround the fate of the civil aircraft, an AFP report said that Egyptian PM confirmed that Russian plane has crashed in Sinai.

However, in a conflicting report, news agency Reuters said that the Russian plane which was reported as missing earlier, has left Egyptian airspace safely.

"The ... Russian airline had told us that the Russian plane we lost contact with is safe and that it has contacted Turkish air traffic control and is passing through Turkish skies now," Ayman al-Muqaddam, the head of the central air traffic accident authority in Egypt, said in a statement.

The Airbus that was reported going off radar and crashing in the Sinai Peninsula was travelling from the Egyptian resort Sharm El-Sheikh to St Petersburg. 

It belonged to Kogalymavia, a small airline based in Western Siberia.

The Russian aviation authority Rosaviatsiya said in a statement that flight 9268 left Sharm el-Sheikh at 6.51 am (local time) and was due into St Petersburg's Pulkovo airport at 12.10 pm.

The authority added that the aircraft failed to make scheduled contact with Cyprus air traffic control 23 minutes after take-off and disappeared from the radar.

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