Cairo: The black box of the Russian plane that crashed in Egypt’s Sinai earlier on Saturday has been found and 129 bodies have been recovered, Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said at a press conference.
Meanwhile, a number of the victims’ bodies have just arrived in a morgue in Cairo.
Earlier on Saturday, the Egyptian Civil Aviation Ministry said military planes have spotted the wreckage of the Russian plane that crashed in central Sinai, with 224 passengers and crew members on board.
The aviation ministry said the wreckage was found in Hassana, a mountainous area 35 km south of Arish city.
The Russian embassy in Cairo said the plane carried 212 passengers and seven crew members, all of whom were killed in the crash.
The plane, which was on its way back to the Russian city of St Petersburg, vanished from radar shortly after taking off from Egypt’s Red Sea resort Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt’s state-run MENA news agency reported.
The Airbus A321, operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia, took off at 5.51 a.m. and disappeared from radar 23 minutes later, the report said.
Egypt’s state-run Ahram Online news website quoted earlier an official as saying that the plane crashed due to a “technical failure” and was not shot down.
“Sinai State”, a Sinai-based militant group loyal to the IS, has claimed responsibility for the crash, which is refuted by both Egyptian and Russian sides.