A Russian passenger plane carrying 224 people crashed on Saturday in Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula, Egyptian officials said.
A “Russian civilian plane… crashed in the central Sinai,” the office of Prime Minister Sharif Ismail said in a statement.
A cabinet statement said Egyptian military planes have spotted wreckage of the plane.
“Military planes have discovered the wreckage of the plane… in a mountainous area, and 45 ambulances have been directed to the site to evacuate dead and wounded,” the statement said.
A senior aviation official said the plane was a charter flight operated by a Russian company carrying 217 passengers and seven crew members. Communication with the aircraft was lost, he added.
Sergei Lzvolsky, an official with the Russian aviation agency Rosaviatsia told Interfax news agency that the plane had departed Egypt’s Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh at 5:51 am local time (03:51 GMT).
He said the aircraft did not make contact as expected with air traffic controllers in Cyprus, and “since then the plane has not made contact and has not appeared on radars”.
“Prime Minister (Ismail) is expected to meet the concerned ministries and competent authorities to follow up on the accident of the Russian civilian plane that fell in central Sinai,” Egyptian premier’s office said.