Metrojet Airbus A321-231 plane crash
Al-Arish, North Sinai, Egypt
The Airbus A321-200 operated by Metrojet took off from Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, for a passenger flight to St. Petersburg, Russia. 217 passengers and 7 crewmembers were onboard. 23 minutes after takeoff, while the plane was over the Sinai desert, it plummeted from the sky and crashed in Wadi Al-Zolomat, about 60 NM south of Al-Arish. All the 224 occupants were killed.
The plane departed the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, near the southern tip of the Sinai. It vanished from radar 23 minutes into the flight, while it was climbing through FL307 over the Sinai desert. There was no distress call from the crew.
The wreckage has located in mountainous terrain straight below the last transmitted transponder position. The debris field expands 350 by 3200 meters (1150 by 10460 feet). Due to the large surface of the debris field, investigators believe that the aircraft broke up in midair.
According to Egyptian Authorities, there is no evidence of hostile or missile activity around the flight path of the aircraft. The weather in the area was clear at the time of the accident.
The director of Russia's Federal Security Service stated that he has studied the passengers’ personal belongings and luggage and fragments of the plane that crashed in Egypt. An expert examination of all these objects has found traces of foreign-made explosives. According to the experts, a self-made explosive device equivalent up to 1 kg of TNT was set off on board, which explains why the fragments of the aircraft were scattered over a large area.
On November 17th 2015, the cause of the accident has been officially recognised as being a terrorist act.
This accident is the 8th worst plane crash since year 2000 in terms of the number of combined onboard and ground fatalities.