UPDATE: 6:36 p.m. EDT -- The pilot and co-pilot of EgyptAir's ill-fated Flight 804, which disappeared off radar early Thursday while traveling from Paris to Cairo, have been identified, the New York Times reported.
The pilot was Mohamed Saeed Shaqeer, age 36, who had more than 6,000 hours of flying experience, about a third of that time flying an Airbus 320, the model of Flight 804, the Times reported. The co-pilot was Mohamed Ahmed Mamdouh, age 24, who had more than 2,700 hours in the air, EgyptAir told the Times. Neither man was known to have ties to any political organizations, the newspaper reported.
Names and photos emerging of the EgyptAir flight crew: Pilot Muhammad Shaqir, co-pilot Muhammad 'Asem, and more https://t.co/HwHvLtCLnf
— Oren Kessler (@OrenKessler) May 19, 2016
Meanwhile, U.S. officials from multiple government agencies told Reuters that a U.S. review of satellite imagery failed to show any evidence that an explosion had occurred aboard the EgyptAir plane.
The U.S. officials added that neither terrorism, mechanical failure, nor deliberate actions by the pilot or crew have yet been ruled out by U.S. officials as likely causes of the plane's disappearance.
A report by Al Arabiya includes photos and information on the pilots and other crew members.
UPDATE: 5:19 p.m. EDT -- Officials from EgyptAir have confirmed that debris found in the Mediterranean Sea is not from the missing Flight 804, CNN reported.
“We stand corrected on finding the wreckage,” an airline official was quoted as saying.
Earlier, Greek officials had disputed the airline's earlier claim that the debris was associated with the missing plane.
UPDATE: 3:39 p.m. EDT — The apparent debris that EgyptAir officials identified Thursday as being wreckage from Flight 804 is being disputed by Greek officials, the Associated Press reported. An air safety official from Greece said the items found in the Mediterranean Sea near the island of Crete are not from any plane, let alone the EgyptAir Flight 804.
“An assessment of the finds showed that they do not belong to an aircraft,” said Athanassios Binis, head of Greece’s Air Accident Investigation and Aviation Safety Board. Binis, who was speaking with local news outlet ERT TV when he made his assessment, said his opinion has been corroborated by other European aviation officials.
UPDATE: 2:43 p.m. EDT — Two Canadians were among the passengers were killed Thursday aboard EgyptAir Flight 804, which apparently crashed into the Mediterranean Sea while en route to Cairo from Paris. Stéphane Dion, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, confirmed the deaths in a brief statement published on the country’s government website.
“On behalf of the government of Canada and all Canadians, our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the victims on board EgyptAir flight MS804, traveling from Paris to Cairo,” Dion said. “Based on the information currently available, we confirm that two Canadian citizens are among the passengers on this flight.”
Prior to Dion’s statement, Metro News in Canada identified one of the Canadian citizens aboard as Marwa Hamdy. The other Canadian victim’s name was not immediately available.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his “thoughts are with the families of victims of EgyptAir flight 804.”
UPDATE: 2:14 p.m. EDT — A man who was supposed to take EgyptAir Flight 804 missed the flight from Paris because he got his departure day confused with another date, according to a tweet from a Brussels-based journalist.
The man, who was not identified, is reportedly planning on taking the flight later Thursday.
Security at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris has been heightened but the travel hub is still open for business and serving travelers.
UPDATE: 1:37 p.m. EDT — There reportedly is evidence of an explosion aboard EgyptAir Flight 804, which apparently crashed Thursday off the coast of Greece while flying en route from Paris to Cairo. A reporter for NBC News tweeted the update based on U.S. intelligence.
"It's not conclusive, but it's suggestive," an unidentified senior U.S. Intelligence official told NBC News. "Now, the question is, if there was an explosion, what caused it? Mechanical failure? Explosives? No idea at this point."
The narrative surrounding the aviation disaster was quickly changing from suspected terrorism to nearly confirmed with each subsequent development bearing all the hallmarks of terror activity. EgyptAir announced it had found the airplane’s wreckage and made reference to “other remains,” indicating debris was perhaps strewn across the Mediterranean Sea.
Flight 804 originated from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris where nearly 60 employees were found in 2015 to be on an international terror watchlist, something that was not lost on several Twitter users where an “#EgyptAir isis” hashtag was trending Thursday.
UPDATE: 1:10 p.m. EDT — EgyptAir confirmed the wreckage of Flight 804 was found off the Greek island of Karpathos where search parties had initially focused their efforts. While nothing was disclosed about the condition of the wreckage, the airline referred to the “other remains of the missing plane.” That could be an indication that an explosive device caused the plane to crash, a theory that officials had been considering.
The airline then officially extended condolences to the “families and friends” of those on board who appeared to have died in the apparent crash.
UPDATE: 12:20 p.m. EDT — EgyptAir has found the wreckage of Flight 804 that went missing over the Mediterranean Sea Thursday while flying from Paris to Cairo, according to a tweet from CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. An airline executive shared the news with Amanpour. The condition of the wreckage was not immediately clear.
The U.S. government is looking into whether EgyptAir Flight 804 disappeared as a result of terrorism, according to a BreakingNews.com report — specifically, how airport security might play into the disappearance and apparent crash of the plane that was carrying 66 people when it fell off the radar grids.
“We are scouring our intelligence resources to see if we can aid in the determination of what happened to the plane,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told NBC News. Schiff, who is a member of the House Intelligence Committee, added: “If terrorism was indeed the cause, it would reveal a whole new level of vulnerability to aircraft — not only from those flights originating in the Middle East, but to those departing from the heart of Europe and with, at least in theory, far better airport defenses.”
Meanwhile, during a White House press briefing Thursday afternoon, press secretary Josh Earnest echoed the sentiments of officials involved in the Flight 804 investigation and said it’s too early to determine the manner in which the plane went missing.
UPDATE: 11:30 a.m. EDT — The National Transportation Safety Board has been keeping tabs on Thursday’s missing EgyptAir Flight 804 but has yet to establish contact with Egypt because the plane has not been found, according a BreakingNews.com report.
“Right now we have to find where this aircraft is,” former NTSB chairman Mark Rosenker told CBS News.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expressed his condolences to the families of passengers and crew aboard the ill-fated plane.
In addition, while some debris has been found and was alleged to have been connected to Flight 804, EgyptAir issued a series of tweets indicating there was no immediate verification for any of the items found.
UPDATE: 10:22 a.m. EDT — Greek authorities found aircraft debris, including what appeared to be several life vests in the southern Mediterranean Sea, near the search area for missing EgyptAir plane, Greek state TV reported. The debris was found some 230 miles off of the island of Crete, as Greek military and other search team members look to confirm whether the debris is from the plane that vanished early Thursday, local time.
UPDATE: 9:52 a.m. EDT — The British Secretary of State for Defense Michael Fallon told the BBC that the landing ship the RFA Lyme Bay had been sent to join the search for the crashed EgyptAir plane. Fallon also reportedly offered up a transport aircraft called the Hercules.
UPDATE: 9:19 a.m. EDT — U.S. President Barack Obama has been briefed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco on the search for the missing EgyptAir plane, CNBC reported in a Twitter post. Two pieces of debris have been found in the Mediterranean Sea that may be from the missing plane, the Associated Press reported.
JUST IN: President Obama briefed on the missing Egyptair flight by Homeland Security & counter terrorism adviser Lisa Monaco - White House
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) May 19, 2016
UPDATE: 8:58 a.m. EDT — A search team found debris near the Greek island of Karpathos in the Mediterranean Sea where authorities have been searching for EgyptAir Flight 804, according to reports from Greek state television. The plane was carrying 66 passengers and crew while en route from Paris to Cairo early Thursday.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) May 19, 2016
UPDATE: 8:54 a.m. EDT — Egyptian civil aviation minister Sherif Fathy said Flight 804 was more likely downed by an act of terrorism than by a technical failure, Reuters reported. The plane disappeared from radar early Thursday, local time, after making several swift turns and plunging into the Mediterranean Sea.
UPDATE: 8:34 a.m. EDT — The search for the EgyptAir plane that disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea Thursday morning, local time, en route to Cairo is focused around the Greek island of Karpathos, Egyptian civil aviation minister Sherif Fathy confirmed in a press conference. The search had initially been much wider, looking for the plane more than 100 nautical miles off the coast of the island.
Meanwhile, U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speculated Flight 804 disappeared because of “terrorism,” a theory that both French and Egyptian officials have not ruled out.
Egypt’s aviation minister told a press conference Thursday he would continue to call EgyptAir flight 804 a “missing plane” until any debris is found. The plane vanished en route from Paris to Cairo Thursday morning, local time, and likely crashed in the Mediterranean Sea, French President François Hollande said.
Carrying 66 passengers and crew, it disappeared from radar without a distress signal, and the French president said investigators were not ruling out the possibility of terrorism. “We will draw conclusions when we have the truth about what happened,” Hollande said. “Whether it was an accident, or whether it was — and it’s something that is on our minds — terrorism.”
A search is underway for the plane in the Mediterranean, near the island of Karpathos. “At this stage, we must give priority to solidarity toward the families” of the victims, Hollande added.
The plane had been flying at 37,000 feet when it made several sharp turns and plunged while in Greek airspace, the Greek defense minister said. The plane soon disappeared from radar as it entered Egyptian airspace, less than 200 miles off the coast of Egypt. Given the height from which the plane likely crashed, those involved in the search do not expect any survivors.
The news comes several months after a Russian-operated plane crashed on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt after terrorists who had pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State terror group placed a homemade bomb in the plane, killing all 224 people on board. Terrorists said the act was retribution for Russian airstrikes in Syria.
Security concerns over a growing terror threat have remained high in France where a series of coordinated terror assaults left 131 people dead in cafes, bars, a concert hall and outside a stadium the night of Nov. 13. It was the deadliest attack on French soil since World War II.