Officials: EgyptAir 804 Swerved Then Crashed
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UPDATE: More details on this developing story can be found here
UPDATE: 12:30 p.m. ET 5/19/16
CNN.com is reporting that several countries are getting involved in the search for the missing EgyptAir Flight 804, including Greece, France, England, Cyprus and Italy.
Reports have suggested that terrorism is likely to blame for the incident, but terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank told CNN.com that no terrorist group has yet taken credit for the plane’s disappearance.
In addition, EgyptAir’s official Twitter said it could not confirm the reports of debris from the plane being found by search teams:
EGYPTAIR has contacted the concerned authorities which did not confirm this information. /2— EGYPTAIR (@EGYPTAIR) May 19, 2016
UPDATE: 11:55 a.m. ET 5/19/16
According to two sources who spoke with CNN.com, government officials from the United States are operating under the theory that EgyptAir Flight 804 was taken down by a bomb. The sources said the theory could change, as it is not yet supported by any "smoking gun" evidence.
UPDATE: 10:30 a.m. ET 5/19/16
The search for the missing EgyptAir Flight 804 is on in full force, as ships and other vessels in the Mediterranean Sea continue to look for debris from the aircraft. Two pieces of orange debris have been spotted, but they have not been confirmed to be from the missing plane, according to NBCNews.com.
United States President Barack Obama was briefed by his Homeland Security adviser about the incident and will be given updates throughout the day regarding the situation. Officials from the U.S. are reaching out to countries impacted by the incident to offer support and assistance.
In addition, Russian officials spoke to local media about the crash, suggesting it was likely a terrorist attack.
“Unfortunately, another incident with an aircraft of Egypt airlines took place today. It was most likely a terrorist attack that killed 66 people from 12 countries,” Russian Federal Security Service director Alexander Bortnikov said.
More information continues to pour in about the disappearance of EgyptAir Flight 804 and the 66 people onboard. CNN.com is reporting the plane "swerved 90 degrees left and then 360 degrees to the right" and then crashed into the Mediterranean Sea.
EgyptAir officials say the last contact they had with the aircraft was 173 miles from the Egyptian coast.
“We do not deny there is a possibility of terrorism or deny the possibility of technical fault,” Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy told CNN.com. “I will continue to use the term missing plane until we find any debris.”
READ MORE: EgyptAir Flight 804 Goes Missing
“The fact that there was no communication — followed by erratic movement — leads us down the road to some sort of terror activity -- that’s a high probability,” Aviation expert Miles O’Brien told CNN. “It’s likely that you have some sense here that the plane was disabled in some way or there was some sort of struggle.”
Speaking to Greek broadcaster ANT1 TV, officials from Greek Civil Aviation said they had tried to reach flight 804 just a few miles before it left the country's airspace and for another minute and a half after it left Greek airspace, receiving no response.
“At 3:37 a.m. local time, immediately after the aircraft entered Cairo airspace at 37,000 feet, the aircraft swerved 90 degrees left and then 360 degrees to the right and descended from 37,000 feet to 15,000 feet and then 10,000 feet, when we lost the signal," Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos told CNN.com.
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