Debris From Missing EgyptAir Jet Found

Friday, May 20th 2016, 5:27 am
By: News On 6

Egypt's military said Friday that parts of the missing EgyptAir flight 804 jet had been discovered in the Mediterranean, about 180 miles north of the Egyptian coast -- close to the area where the plane disappeared from radar early Thursday morning.

Greece's defense minister said later Friday morning that the Egyptian forces had also seen a body part in the water, along with two seats and suitcases.

"We were informed (by Egyptian authorities) that a body part, two seats and one or more items of luggage where found in the search area," French news agency AFP quoted Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos as saying at a news conference.

Egyptian officials did not immediately confirm that the military had spotted any human remains. The airline said it had no such information, either.

The Egyptian military's statement, posted on social media, said aircraft and naval vessels had "managed to find some of the passengers' belongings as well as parts of the plane's fuselage in an area 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Alexandria. Search efforts continue, and rescue teams are collecting whatever objects that are being found."

An Egyptian military spokesman also confirmed the discovery of passenger belongings separately to CBS News.

CBS News correspondent Holly Williams reports that search teams from Egypt, Greece, the U.S. and France were scouring the Mediterranean Sea again Friday for wreckage, and for any answers as to what brought the Airbus A320 down.

The plane was at its normal cruising altitude in Greek airspace when, sometime after 2 a.m. local time on Thursday, something catastrophic happened. Greek radar shows the plane turning abruptly 90 degrees to the left, then swinging through a tight 360-degree circle to the right, all while "dropping like a rock," according to one official.

Then it completely disappeared off the radar.

On Thursday there was hope that photos posted online by a merchant ship's captain showed debris from the passenger jet, and EgyptAir even confirmed wreckage had been found, but that later turned out to be incorrect.

Egypt's Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi told CBS News he has strong suspicions that terrorism is "most likely the case." But he cautioned that it was just his own personal view, "not a statement on behalf of the Egyptian government."