UPDATE – EgyptAir Flight 804: Airline Officials Backtrack, Now Say Plane Wreckage Has Not Been Found

Airline officials backtrack, now say plane wreckage has not been found – LA Times

EgyptAir officials now say they were mistaken when they announced earlier today that wreckage from EgyptAir Flight 804 was found near the Greek island of Karpathos.

“We stand corrected on finding the wreckage,” EgyptAir vice president Ahmed Adel told CNN.

The debris found — reportedly including life vests and pieces of plastic — “were not part of our plane,” he said.

The search is ongoing, Adel said.

Via LA Times

Cairo (CNN)  Searchers scouring the heavily traveled waters of the Mediterranean Sea for EgyptAir Flight 804 on Thursday have found the plane’s wreckage, airline Vice Chairman Ahmed Adel told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

He did not elaborate on the condition of the wreckage, which the airline said was found near the Greek island of Karpathos. But Adel said the search and rescue operation was turning into a search and recovery mission — language that often denotes a lack of survivors.
“Our main concern right now is taking care of the family and friends of all those who perished,” Adel told Amanpour. “We are now in the process of contacting next of kin. Once that process is complete, we will release the passenger manifest.”
Earlier, a spokesman for Greece’s Hellenic National Defense General Staff had said crew aboard an Egyptian search aircraft had spotted two floating objects 210 nautical miles southeast of Crete. It’s unclear whether those objects are part of the wreckage described by Adel.
The Airbus A320 carrying 66 passengers and crew disappeared early Thursday over the Mediterranean Sea as it flew from Paris to Cairo.
Speculation has centered on the possibility of a terrorist attack.
“Planes today just don’t fall out of the sky,” CNN aviation analyst Miles O’Brien said.
Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sharif Fathi said technical failures and terror are both possible explanations.
“But if you analyze this situation properly, the possibility of having a different action aboard, of having a terror attack, is higher than having a technical problem,” Fathi said.

Latest developments

— The debris found includes life jackets and plastic materials, the airline said.
— Maintenance checks on the plane had been done on time and “no snags were reported,” Adel told Amanpour.
— Checks of the passenger manifest have so far resulted in no hits on terror watch lists, officials with knowledge of the investigation told CNN.
— U.S. government officials are operating on an initial theory that the plane was taken down by a bomb, two U.S. officials told CNN on Thursday. Officials said the theory could change, with one senior administration official cautioning it is not yet supported by a “smoking gun.”
— President Barack Obama has been briefed on the situation, said Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism.
— The airplane “swerved and then plunged” before descending into the Mediterranean, Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos told reporters.
— Greek controllers tried to reach EgyptAir Flight 804 about 10 miles before it left the country’s airspace and for about 90 seconds after and received no response, the head of the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority told Greek broadcaster ANT1 TV.
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