Three days after the Sinai plane crash, experts have yet to come up with a concrete conclusion on the events that led to this tragedy. Several contradictory assumptions are already viral on the internet but nothing can be said for certain until data from the plane’s black boxes has been fully analyzed.
The facts of the incident, according to reports, are as follows:
- The flight was headed from Sharm el-Sheikh to Saint Petersburg with 225 people on board (17 children and 7 crew members included).
- 23 minutes after take-off, the flight failed to contact air traffic control at the scheduled time – this was the first hint of possible complications
- At around 4:17 GMT, the plane begins descending and bursts mid air before falling over the Sinai peninsula
Theories and disagreements
Technical complications or crew error cannot have been responsible for the crash because “There is no such combination of failures of systems which could have led to the plane disintegrating in the air,” – Alexander Smirnov, deputy director, Metrojet. “The only [explanation] for the plane to have been destroyed in mid-air can be specific impact, purely mechanical, physical influence on the aircraft,” he said.
The IS branch in Egypt has claimed responsibility for the terrible event, pronouncing it as revenge for recent Russian air strikes on the group’s Egyptian bases. But their claim has not been minded much, considering the impossibility of their having attacked the flight that high up in the air.
To do so, “you would need hard-to-use missiles, so it seems unlikely,” because “This requires trained people and equipment that IS does not have, to my knowledge” – Jean-Paul Troadec, former director of BEA aviation investigation agency, France.
Of course, this does not rule out the possibility of a bomb. But the theory does not have many fans.
A thorn in the issue is the contradictory reports of air personnel involved. An official of Egyptian air traffic control has claimed that the pilot had reported radio trouble during a brief exchange. But Civil Aviation Minister Mohamed Hossam Kamal has made a reverse statement claiming that conversation with the pilot had been normal and nothing of the sort had been reported to him. The wife of the co-pilot had also claimed on Russian TV that her husband had complained about the plane’s dismal technical condition.
The search for the causes of the accident and what really happened in flight KGL9268 is on as more and more bodies are found and sent home. Russian Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov assured that the search for the bodies will only end when all the bodies have been recovered. The 20 sq km radius around the crash site has already been covered and the search will now proceed on to the 30 sq km radius. Only 144 of the 225 have been sent on to St. Petersburg as of now.