Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin

Putin also ordered the Emergency Situations Ministry to send an aircraft to the crash site after coordinating with the Egyptian side.

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin

Meanwhile, Medvedev asked Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov to fly to Cairo, Egypt’s capital, to organize all necessary work with regard to the plane crash.

Expressing “the deepest condolences to the victims’ relatives,” Putin asked relevant ministries and government departments to provide necessary and urgent assistance to the relatives of the victims.

The Emergency Situations Ministry earlier held an urgent meeting of a government working group over the crash incident, said the ministry’s press service.

“Due to the situation with the Russian airliner, the government commission’s group on emergency management is urgently gathered for a meeting in the Emergency Situations Ministry,” the press service said.

According to the ministry, hotlines were opened for the public to provide related information, while psychologists were sent to St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport, ready to assist the families of the passengers aboard the crashed Airbus A-321.

It added that three ministry aircraft are on high alert to set off for Egypt to assist and rescue victims.
“Two Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft and one Beriev Be-200 are ready for a response,” RIA Novosti news agency quoted a source from the ministry as saying.

A Russian airliner carrying 224 people crashed on Saturday in Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula, Egyptian prime minister’s office said.

The flight 7K9268, which took off at 05:51 a.m. local time (0351 GMT) from Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh resort city in South Sinai, vanished from the radars 23 minutes after takeoff.

Scheduled to reach the Russian city of St. Petersburg at noon on Saturday, the airliner belongs to Russia’s Metrojet airline, which is based in Kogalym, a town in Russia’s western Siberia, and started operations in May 1993.

According to RIA Novosti, captain of the airliner informed the air traffic controller of technical faults after takeoff, asking for route change and emergent landing in Cairo.

The news agency also said that the crew of the crashed airliner had reported several times last week about the plane engine’s technical problems.

“This plane has contacted the technical service regarding the problems with starting an engine several times during the past week,” a source at the Sharm El-Sheikh airport told RIA Novosti.

Meanwhile, Ayman Al-Mokadem, who is heading an Egyptian committee to monitor the crash incident, was quoted by Egypt’s state-run Ahram online news website as saying that the crash was due to a “technical failure” and was not shot down.

An aviation team is on its way to extract the black boxes to determine the exact cause of the crash and at least 45 ambulances have been sent to the site, according to a statement of the Egyptian prime minister’s office. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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