French President François Hollande and Egyptian officials have confirmed that an EgyptAir plane that took off from Paris bound for Cairo late Wednesday night crashed into the Mediterranean.
“The information we have gathered—ministers, members of government, and, of course, the Egyptian authorities—confirm, sadly, that it has crashed,” Hollande said early Thursday. “It is lost.”
Flight MS804 vanished from radar screens once inside Egyptian airspace, prompting Egyptian and Greek authorities to launch a massive search and rescue operation for the Airbus 320. Flight MS804, which had 56 passengers, including two infants, and 10 crew aboard, was scheduled to depart Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport at 10:45 p.m. but left shortly later, at 11:09 p.m. It vanished at an altitude of 37,000 feet, at 2:45 a.m., according to the airline’s Twitter feed. It was reportedly completing its fifth flight of the day when it went missing. Weather conditions were clear and calm.
Egypt’s civil aviation ministry said a signal from MS804 pinged at 4:26 a.m., though it wasn’t clear if the call was from a crew member or an automated signal from the plane itself. According to reports, in fewer than 24 hours, the plane flew from Tunisia to Cairo before heading to Paris and back. Read more at the Daily Beast.