By Ahmed Abbas
A committee of Egyptian Aviation authorities, Russian experts, and Airbus will begin to bring out data out from the Russian aircraft’s black box Sunday, Minister of Civil Aviation Hossam Kamal told the Egyptian official news agency.
Kamal cannot add any other statements regarding the cause of the crash before analysis of the data.
Head of communications of AirBus Middle East Hania Tabet told the Daily News Egypt that the company will provide full technical assistant to the French investigators. “In line with ICAO annex 13, an Airbus go-team of technical advisors stand-by are ready to provide full technical assistance to French Investigation Agency BEA and to authorities in charge of the investigation,” she said.
A total of 137 bodies were transported to several hospitals in Cairo, including Al-Sahel hospital and Nasser Medical Institute, the Egyptian Cabinet said in statement.
The Russian Ministry of Emergencies said over 100 Russian rescuers and 11 pieces of equipment were sent to investigate the Airbus crash in Egypt. It also plans to take the bodies back to St. Petersburg by Monday, Russian Interfax news agency reported.
Despite the unconfirmed statement by “Sinai State” claiming that they shot the plane down, military experts rule the idea out.
“To be able to do this, you need accurate radars that can track an object at that altitude, you would also need anti-aircraft missiles,” Sayed Ghoniem an Egyptian security advisor told Daily News Egypt.
He said that Islamic militias in Sinai could not have brought the plane down: “How could they track a specific plane in a very crowded air space?”
Civil aircrafts are equipped by technologies that can monitor any guided missiles on earth. “So the pilot could have time to discover this in advance and report, which did not happen and that is why Russian authorities dismissed the idea,” Ghoniem said.
Two major European airlines, Lufthansa and AirFrance, announced they will bypass flying over Sinai until the reasons of the Russian plane crash are uncovered. Lufthansa spokesman told the German press that this bypass will depend on the destination airport.
Tourism in Sinai will not be affected by such measures, Atef Abdallatif head of Sinai investors group said in a statement. “About 90% of tourists arrive to Sinai by charter flights and not by regular flights”.
The European council president Donald Tusk expressed his condolences with the Russian people: “I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims and my sympathy with the Russian authorities and people”. Former UK foreign minister Philip Hammond also called his Russian counterpart to express sympathies.