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Govt Widens Search For Plane Crash Victims

The authorities in Egypt say they are widening the search for more bodies and aircraft debris in the Sinai where a Russian passenger plane crashed on Saturday killing all 224 people on board.

The latest statement by the country’s aviation ministry yesterday said the search area was being extended to 15 km where some of the remains of the 163 victims of the disaster were recovered.

The ministry said the search is covering a three-mile radius in the Sinai desert where the Kogalymavia Airbus A-321 fell from the sky shortly after takeoff in the resort town of Sharm –El-Sheikh frequented mainly by Russian tourists.

There were 217 passengers mainly Russians including 17 children and seven crew members on board the plane.

The flight was operated by Kogalymavia, which is privately owned, and officially changed its name to MetroJet several years ago.

Airbus said on its website that the plane that crashed was produced in 1997 and has been operated by Metrojet since 2012.

Meanwhile the Russian Embassy in Egypt said on its Facebook page that there was no hope of any survivors given that all those on board had died.

Egypt has not officially made any announcements on the casualties but its civil aviation ministry said the plane was at an altitude of 31,000 feet when it disappeared from radar screens. Russia has declared a state of mourning on November 1 when flags are being flown at half mast and entertainment shows cancelled.

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