The Latest: Crash experts from France, Airbus head to Egypt
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — The latest developments after a Russian passenger plane crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board (all times local).
French air accident investigators have left for Egypt to join the investigation into the crash of a Russian passenger plane in the Sinai Peninsula.
France's BEA accident investigation agency is involved because the Airbus A321-200 jet was designed in France. A BEA official said the team, including two BEA investigators and six technical advisers from Airbus, was arriving Sunday.
The BEA said the team would be joined by two investigators from its German counterpart BFU, because the plane was manufactured in Germany, and four investigators from its Russian counterpart MAK, because the plane was operated by a Russian company.
The crash early Saturday killed all 224 people onboard a Metrojet charter flight from Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt to St. Petersburg in Russia. Most victims were Russians.
An Egyptian ground service official who examined the Russian passenger plane that crashed Saturday in the Sinai Peninsula before takeoff says it appeared to be in good condition.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
A Russian TV channel on Saturday quoted the wife of the co-pilot as saying her husband had complained about the plane's condition.
Another Egyptian official had previously said that before the plane lost contact with air traffic controllers the pilot had radioed and said the aircraft was experiencing technical problems and that he intended to try and land at the nearest airport.
A local affiliate of the extremist Islamic State group claimed it "brought down" the aircraft, but Russia's transport minister dismissed the claim.
The plane, bound for St. Petersburg in Russia, crashed 23 minutes after it took off from Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. All 224 people on board died.
--Nour Youssef in Cairo
Dubai-based Emirates, the Middle East's biggest carrier, says it has stopped flying over Egypt's Sinai until more is known about the crash of a Russian airliner in the rugged peninsula.
The airline made the announcement Sunday, the day after the crash of the Russian plane, which had taken off 23 minutes earlier from the popular Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh. All 224 people on board died.
The cause of the crash was not yet known. A local affiliate of the extremist Islamic State group claimed it "brought down" the aircraft, but Russia's transport minister dismissed the claim.
Two major European airlines, Germany's Lufthansa and Air France, said Saturday that they would immediately stop flying over Sinai for safety reasons until the cause of the crash was determined.