Rescue services from the Egyptian armed forces reported receiving a distress signal at 04:26 am local time (0226 GMT) from the EgyptAir plane that went missing overnight, an official from the airline said in a statement.
The Airbus 320 disappeared from Egyptian air space almost two hours earlier, at 02:30 a.m., some 280 kms (165 miles) from the Egyptian coastline, according to EgyptAir. It had been due to land at 03:15 a.m.
Officials with the airline and the Egyptian civil aviation department told Reuters they believed the Airbus A320 probably crashed into the sea.Aboard the flight were 30 Egyptians, 15 French nationals, one Briton and one Belgian.
Families of passengers rushed to Cairo International Airport shortly after dawn while the Egyptian and Greek military scrambled aircraft and boats to search for the plane.
“An official source at EgyptAir stated that Flight MS804, which departed Paris at 23:09 (CEST), heading to Cairo has disappeared from radar,” the airline said on its official Twitter account.
Later Tweets by EgyptAir said the plane, which was traveling at an altitude of 37,000 feet (11,280 meters), disappeared in Egyptian air space at 02:30 a.m., some 280 kms (165 miles) from the Egyptian coastline, before it was due to land at 03:15 a.m.
“There was nothing unusual,” EgyptAir vice chairman Ahmed Adel told Reuters. “The search and rescue aircraft from the Egyptian air force are at the position where we lost contact. They are still looking and so far there is nothing found.”
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