11/04/2015, 00.00
EGYPT – RUSSIA
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Sinai plane crash: clues point to terrorism

For some aviation experts, bomb or a missile might have brought down the plane. Voice recordings do not suggest the crew was aware of any faults. "The situation on board four minutes before the aircraft disappeared from the radars was normal, the crew had regular conversations with flight operations officers," a source said.

Cairo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Mystery and confusion continue to surround the final moments of the Metrojet Airbus A321-200 that plummeted on 31 October. Increasingly, clues suggest that the crash might be due to a terrorist act, a bomb or a missile.

Some aviation experts believe that a bomb on board the Metrojet Airbus A321-200 might have brought it down. For James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, whilst nothing indicates any terrorist involvement yet, nothing excludes that the plane was brought down by an Islamic State (IS) affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula.

Likewise, asked if a terrorist attack could be ruled out, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said, “No versions could be excluded.”

US satellite imagery detected heat around the Russian passenger jet just before it went down in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, two US officials said Tuesday. However, the discovery does not resolve the mystery of why the plane crashed, killing all 224 aboard.

Aviation analyst Paul Beaver said the heat picked up by the satellite “indicates that there was a catastrophic explosion or disintegration of the airplane,” but that does not indicate the cause.

A joint investigation committee, with Egyptian, Russian, French and German experts as well as representatives from Ireland, have already started to analyse the plane’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders.

Russia's Interfax news agency yesterday quoted a source as saying that the voice recordings did not suggest the crew was aware of any faults.

"The situation on board four minutes before the aircraft disappeared from the radars was normal, the crew had regular conversations with flight operations officers," the source said.

Speaking about the international team of experts, Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Hossam Kamal said that, although it “will take some time” before a final report is produced, the committee “has all the tools and experts to deal with the investigation”.

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