CAIRO (AP) — The latest news on EgyptAir Flight 804 from Paris to Cairo, carrying 66 people, which Egyptian officials say crashed early Thursday into the Mediterranean Sea off the Greek island of Crete (all times local):
The ranking Democrat on the U.S. House Intelligence Committee says there are conflicting reports about the conduct of the EgyptAir plane during its last minutes of flight, and there is nothing yet to confirm whether terrorism, structural failure or something else is the cause.
"We are looking through our intelligence collections to figure out if we have any images. Do we have any signals intelligence that reveals a discussion of a plot like this? California Rep. Adam Schiff told The Associated Press.
"We're working with the French to try to figure out is there any information we have that could shed light on any of the passengers, but there's nothing yet to confirm the cause of the plane crash." he said.
He said the plane did seem to have broken apart in midair but the reason was unclear.
A senior Greek air safety official says the debris found so far in the Mediterranean Sea does not belong to an aircraft.
An EgyptAir Airbus A320 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea early Thursday while carrying 66 passengers and crew from Paris to Cairo, and authorities have been scouring a wide area south of Crete to look for plane debris.
But Athanassios Binis, head of Greece's Air Accident Investigation and Aviation Safety Board, told state ERT TV that "an assessment of the finds showed that they do not belong to an aircraft." He says Thursday this has been confirmed by Egyptian authorities.
Greek military officials say a Greek C-130 military transport plane is still participating in the search for debris from the EgyptAir jet, but a frigate initially sent to the area has been recalled. The same officials say all potential debris located so far in the sea has been spotted by Egyptian aircraft.
Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion says two Canadians were on EgyptAir Flight 804, which crashed into the Mediterranean as it carried 66 passengers and crew from Paris to Cairo.
Dion says officials are providing consular assistance to the victims' families and Canadian officials are working with authorities to confirm whether there were any additional Canadians on board.
The Airbus A320 crashed early Thursday. Egypt's Civil Aviation ministry says "floating material," including life jackets and plastic items, have been found in the sea off the Greek island of Karpathos, close to the suspected site of the plane crash.
John Goglia, a former U.S. National Transportation Safety Board member, said early indications point more to a bomb than to a structural or mechanical failure for EgyptAir Flight 804.
The Airbus A320 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea early Thursday while carrying 66 passengers and crew from Paris to Cairo.
Goglia says "given the fact that (the pilot) made those abrupt turns without broadcasting any maydays would indicate to me that something catastrophic like a device happened."
He says a mechanical failure "still has to be considered, but at this point I would put that down pretty low." He likewise says that a structural failure, like a piece of the airplane's aluminum skin ripping away from metal fatigue, is possible but unlikely.
He says "the recorders will tell us," referring to the black boxes, the plane's flight-data and cockpit-voice recorders that are a key part of nearly every crash investigation.
France's BEA, or Accident Investigating Bureau which probes aircraft disasters, was sending a team of three investigators to Cairo, accompanied by a technical expert from Airbus, maker of the EgyptAir A320 plane that has crashed into the Mediterranean.
The BEA said the team was leaving on Thursday night. In a statement, it said "the BEA could notably counsel Egyptian authorities on the organization of an underwater search to locate the plane and the black boxes."
The BEA said it was taking part in the probe as a representative of the country where the plane was conceived. Airbus, based in Toulouse, has said it was sending a technical expert and could send more if needed.
EgyptAir Flight 804 crashed early Thursday while carrying 66 passengers and crew from Paris to Cairo.
The White House says it's too early to say definitively what caused an EgyptAir flight to crash into the Mediterranean Sea.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest says investigators will consider all factors and possibilities. He says nothing has been ruled in or out. Earnest says the U.S. is ready to help with the investigation and that the U.S. Navy is working to deploy a P-3 Orion aircraft in the search.
The White House says President Barack Obama is getting multiple updates about the crash. Earnest says the president is sending his prayers to families of those on the place. Earnest says U.S. national security and aviation experts are in contact with their counterparts in France and Egypt to offer assistance.
Egypt's Civil Aviation ministry says in a statement that "floating material," including life jackets and plastic items, have been found in the sea off the Greek island of Karpathos, close to the suspected site of the EgyptAir plane crash.
The ministry says it is coordinating with Greek counterparts to examine what they have found and to determine whether the items could be part of the debris from the plane that crashed before dawn on Thursday while carrying 66 passengers and crew.
Procter & Gamble Co. says one of its employees was aboard the EgyptAir plane that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea.
The consumer products maker identified him as Ahmed Helal, manager of its plant in Amiens, France. He had held a variety of manager positions since joining P&G in his native Egypt in 2000. His LinkedIn profile says he earned a mechanical engineering degree from The American University in Cairo in 1999.
P&G spokesman Damon Jones says "we are in touch with the employee's family and are offering them our full support during this difficult time."
The Cincinnati-based company makes products such as Tide detergent and Pampers diapers.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expressing his "condolences to Egypt and to all other countries" affected by the disappearance of EgyptAir 804 over the Mediterranean.
Speaking Thursday at NATO headquarters outside of Brussels, Kerry says "the United States is providing assistance in the search effort and relevant authorities are doing everything they can to try to determine what the facts are of what happened."
Egyptian officials say EgyptAir Flight 804 from Paris to Cairo crashed early Thursday into the sea with 66 people on board. Kerry refused to speculate on the cause of the crash and insisted he and other authorities did not know it yet.
He says "but we certainly extend our condolences to each and every country that has lost people and particularly to Egypt."
Egyptian airport officials have identified two more victims from the EgyptAir plane that crashed in the Mediterranean.
They say that the sister-in-law of Hisham el-Maqawad, the deputy to the Egyptian ambassador in Paris, and Sahar al-Khawaga, a Saudi woman who works at the Saudi Embassy in Cairo, are among the victims of Thursday's plane crash.
They say that al-Khawaga, who has worked at the diplomatic mission in the Egyptian capital for 13 years, was in Paris to follow up on her daughter's medical treatment there.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity under regulations.
—Maggie Michael in Cairo
Egypt's former civil aviation minister says that if it's confirmed the EgyptAir plane swerved before it crashed, this means that "something happened that forced the pilots to lose control over the plane."
Hossam Kamal told The Associated Press that the debris from the plane and the black box, if recovered, could help uncover "what happened that forced the pilot to lose control."
He spoke on Thursday after authorities said that the jetliner bound from Paris to Cairo with 66 people aboard had made a mysterious series of extremely abrupt turns before crashing into the Mediterranean Sea.
Kamal says passenger planes are not designed to make a 360-degree swerves while in flight and that something like that is "disproportionate" to a passenger plane's design.
He says that "these are not warplanes."
A retired weapons developer says it looks increasingly unlikely that a structural failure is behind the crash of EgyptAir Flight 804.
Retired Maj. Gen. Robert Latiff, an expert on aerospace systems and emerging weapons technologies at the University of Notre Dame, says while it's too early to tell for certain, a structural failure for the Airbus A320 plane is "vanishingly improbable."
He says "a plane in straight and level flight at 37,000 feet is a pretty benign situation."
Latiff says "sabotage is possible, and if there were lax controls at airports and loose hiring and security policies, increasingly likely."
Officials say EgyptAir Flight 804 from Paris to Cairo crashed early Thursday with 66 people on board.
Britain is sending a military ship and a plane to join the search for EgyptAir Flight 804, which Egyptian officials say has crashed into eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Defense Secretary Michael Fallon says he has dispatched Royal Navy support ship RFA Lyme Bay, which is in the Mediterranean, and a C-130 Hercules aircraft from Royal Air Force base Akrotiri in Cyprus to support the Egyptian-led effort. He says "we stand ready to offer further assistance" if needed.
Britain says one U.K. citizen was among the 66 people aboard the flight Thursday from Paris to Cairo.
Kuwait's Foreign Ministry has identified a Kuwaiti feared dead in the EgyptAir plane crash in the Mediterranean Sea.
A ministry statement carried Thursday afternoon by the state-run Kuwait News Agency named the missing passenger as Abdulmohsen al-Muteiri. It offered no other details about al-Muteiri.
The statement quoted Sami al-Hamad, an assistant foreign minister for consular affairs, as saying Kuwait had been in touch with Egyptian authorities over the crash.
The EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo with 66 passengers and crew on board crashed Thursday morning in the Mediterranean Sea off the Greek island of Crete. Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail has said it is too early to say whether a technical problem or a terror attack caused the Airbus A320 to crash.
Among passengers on missing EgyptAir Flight 804 was a student training at a French military school who was heading to his family home in Chad to mourn his mother.
The protocol officer for Chad's embassy in Paris, Muhammed Allamine, said the man "was going to give condolences to his family." Allamine said the man, who wasn't identified, was a student at France's prestigious Saint-Cyr army academy.
Another passenger on the flight was an Egyptian man returning home after medical treatment in France, according to two shocked friends who turned up at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport.
"It breaks my heart," said one friend, Madji Samaan.
Passengers arriving for the 3:45 p.m. EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo faced heavy gray curtains drawn over the departure hall and journalists waiting outside. Most of those interviewed stayed stoic, saying it didn't make sense to cancel their plane trip out of fear — even if many acknowledged being a little rattled.
Officials say EgyptAir Flight 804 from Paris to Cairo crashed into the Mediterranean Sea early Thursday with 66 people on board.
A Greek military official says an Egyptian search plane has located two orange items believed to be from the missing EgyptAir flight.
The official says the items were found 230 miles (370 kilometers) south-southeast of the island of Crete but still within the Egyptian air traffic control area. One of the items was oblong, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in accordance with regulations.
Russian security official Alexander Bortnikov says "in all likelihood it was a terror attack" that caused EgyptAir Flight 804 from Paris to Cairo to crash into the Mediterranean early Thursday with 66 people on board.
— Elena Becatoros in Athens
___ 3 p.m.
The head of Russia's top domestic security agency says the crashed Egyptian jet has apparently been brought down by a terror attack. Alexander Bortnikov said on Thursday that "in all likelihood it was a terror attack" causing the crash of the EgyptAir Flight 804 from Paris to Cairo with 66 people on board, according to Russian news agencies.
Bortnikov, the head of the Federal Security Service, called for a joint action to track down those responsible for that "monstrous attack."
Last October, a Russian plane flying from Egypt crashed into the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board. Moscow said it was brought down by an explosive device
Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi says the possibility of a terror attack as the cause of the EgyptAir crash is "stronger" than technical failure. Fathi was responding to a reporter's question during a press conference on Thursday in Cairo.
He said that he doesn't want draw conclusions but that analysis points to terrorism as a cause with a higher probability.
Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi said Egypt-Greek search for debris of crashed EgyptAir plane off Greek island of Karpathos is expanding.
Hours after the plane disappeared on Thursday, Fathi told reporters in Cairo that the diameter of the search area will widen, moving further south of the island.
Meanwhile, Egypt's chief prosecutor Nabil Sadek says he has ordered an "urgent investigation" into crash of EgyptAir plane. Sadek instructed the National Security Prosecutor to open an "extensive investigation" in the incident.
Greece's defense minister, Panos Kammenos, says Greece has a submarine on standby which is participating in a NATO exercise about 100 miles (160 kilometers) away from the presumed crash area, while F-16 fighter jets stationed on Crete could also be used if necessary. The country already has a navy frigate, two military transport planes and a radar plane participating in the search and rescue operation, while he said Egypt had sent a C-130 military transport plane and two F-16s.
France is providing Falcon navy support aircraft, he said, while Greece has contacted the US and Russia, and the American side has offered and Greece has accepted the help of a maritime support aircraft.
Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi stresses that Egypt doesn't rule out any possibilities in the crash of the EgyptAir flight including a "terrorist attack."
Speaking in a press conference in Cairo, Fathi says that he insists on saying "missing plane" until debris is found.
Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos says the EgyptAir flight made abrupt turns, suddenly lost altitude just before vanishing from radar shortly after entering Cairo's air traffic control area of responsibility.
Kammenos said the aircraft was 10-15 miles inside the Egyptian area and at an altitude of 37,000 feet. He says: "It turned 90 degrees left and then a 360- degree turn toward the right, dropping from 38,000 to 15,000 feet and then it was lost at about 10,000 feet," he said.
Greek civil aviation authorities say all appeared fine with the flight until the time when air traffic controllers were to hand it over to their Egyptian counterparts. The pilot did not respond to their calls, and the aircraft then vanished from radars. Kammenos' comments are the first indication of what might have happened after the aircraft entered Cairo's air traffic control space.
Passengers are preparing to board an EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo, hours after an earlier EgyptAir flight on the same route disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea.
Salama Kordeya, a 66-year-old business traveler, shrugged off journalists asking him whether he was comfortable stepping on to the flight.
He tells journalists: "Thousands of car accidents ... and we use cars. I'm not afraid."
Authorities have set up a special crisis center at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport for families of passengers of the missing plane.
Greece's Civil Aviation Authority says traffic controllers' last communication with the EgyptAir pilot found him in good spirits. Greek air traffic controllers lost contact as the flight headed into the Egyptian area of responsibility.
The Civil Aviation Authority says the flight entered the Greek air traffic control area, or FIR, at 02:24 Greek time (2324 GMT), was identified and approved on its flight course and passed into the next section of air traffic control and was approved by the controller for the exit point of the Greek FIR.
Air traffic controllers tried to contact the pilot again at 03:27 local time for the handover of the plane to Cairo's area of responsibility, but "despite repeated calls, the aircraft did not respond."
Air traffic control then called on the emergency frequency and again there was no response. At 03:29, the aircraft was over the exit point of the Athens FIR, and at 03:29.40 it vanished from radar. The Greek authority said the military was asked for help in case the plane could be located on a military radar, but there was no sign of it. Search and rescue operations began at 03:45.
French President Francois Hollande has confirmed the crash of the EgyptAir flight, and says no hypothesis is ruled out or preferred, including an accident or a terrorist act.
Hollande says: "When we have the truth we need to draw all the conclusions."
Speaking at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Hollande adds: "At this stage, we must give priority to solidarity toward the families" of the victims.
The Paris prosecutor's office has opened an investigation into the disappearance of the EgyptAir flight.
The prosecutor said in a statement Thursday that its collective accident department opened the investigation with the national gendarme service.
It said "no hypothesis is favored or ruled out at this stage."