Egyptian officials have confirmed there were no survivors after a Russian plane crashed while en route from Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt to St. Petersburg in Russia Saturday, according to the Associated Press. Operated by the Russian company Kogalymavia, Metrojet Flight 7K9268 was carrying 217 passengers and seven crew members.
The passengers were 138 women, 62 men and 17 children between the ages of 2 and 17, BBC News reported, citing Egypt’s cabinet. Among them were 214 Russian and three Ukrainian citizens.
The plane crashed in the Sinai Peninsula. The Egyptian and Russian governments both have been working to determine exactly what went wrong and to send help to the victims’ families. The Russian embassy in Cairo said through its Twitter account that bodies of the crash victims were being recovered at the crash site.
Although the victims’ names have not been released by officials, the Telegraph in the U.K. reported that a Russian website with ties to security services had published a list of them. Many of the victims’ last names appeared to be the same, which indicated that a number of families were aboard the plane. The Sinai is a popular vacation spot for Russians -- almost 3 million people travel from Russia to Egypt every year -- and many of the passengers were believed to be returning from vacations, CNN reported.
Authorities said it was too early to determine the cause of the crash, but several news outlets indicated the aircraft’s pilot reported technical problems before the plane went down. However, Kogalymavia said human error was responsible for the crash, according to Reuters.
Russian, Egyptian and American officials all offered their condolences to the families of the plane’s victims. A statement by Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said the Egyptian and Russian governments were coordinating their investigations of the incident.
The Presidency of the Arab Republic of Egypt offers its sincere condolences to the leadership, government and people of Russia as well as the families of the victims of the Russian plane crash that took place near Al-Hasana City in Sinai.
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is following developments and is in contact with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and other senior officials, who have headed to the crash site.
The President instructed the investigation committee, formed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, to swiftly carry out its mission and identify the reasons that led to the accident.
This is in addition to coordinating efforts with the relevant Russian authorities.
The Presidency is closely following the situation with members of the crisis management team, headed by the prime minister and that includes the ministers of civil aviation, tourism, interior, social solidarity, health and population, local development, and representatives from the ministry of defense and foreign affairs.
The Presidency receives regular reports on the latest developments.