EgyptAir officials have backed off earlier report that debris was found.
The desperate search continues for wreckage of the EgyptAir Flight 804 that went down in the Mediterranean Sea off Greece earlier today. Officials thought they had found some wreckage from the plane, but now say what they found was not from this flight at all.
The plane left the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport at 11:09 p.m. local time Wednesday, and was due to arrive in Cairo at 3:15 a.m.
Timeline: The final moments of EgyptAir Flight 804
The flight seemed to be proceeding normally until it approached Egyptian airspace. Greek controllers talked to the pilot when the plane was near the Greek island of Kea at 37,000 feet at an air speed of 519 mph. Everything seemed fine at that point.
At 2:27 a.m., shortly before the aircraft was scheduled to exit Greek airspace, controllers tried to reach the pilots to transfer control to Cairo authorities. Despite repeated attempts, they received no response, the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority said. The plane passed into Egyptian airspace two minutes later. Forty seconds later, radar contact was lost, the authority said.
At 2:29 a.m., just after it had entered Egyptian airspace, the plane swerved 90 degrees to the left, and then 360 degrees to the right before plunging first to 15,000 feet, then 10,000 feet, before dropping off radar, Kammenos, the Greek defense minister, told reporters.
Authorities are considering all options – a bomb, someone entering the cockpit with a weapon, mechanical failure or human error. Employees at the Paris airport are also under scrutiny, although officials there say they have the highest security standards you can find.
After the Paris attack last November, airport officials reviewed the records of all employees and cancelled security clearance for about 12 staff members because of their links to Islamism or to groups linked to terrorism.
Flight 804 was carrying 66 people – 56 passengers, (including one child and two babies,) three security staff and seven crew members, officials said. Nationalities on board included 15 French passengers, 30 Egyptians, one Briton, two Iraqis, one Kuwaiti, one Saudi, one Sudanese, one Chadian, one Portuguese, one Algerian and one Canadian.
Among the passengers was a student training at a French military school who was heading to his family home in Chad to mourn his mother.
France has offered to send military planes and boats to join the search.
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