Is this proof ISIS shot down Russian plane killing all 224 on board?
Terror group releases chilling video as experts say jet did NOT lodge SOS call or have ‘any faults’ that would have caused crash
- ISIS yesterday released horrific video purporting to show the final moments of the plane it claims to have downed
- The aircraft was reported missing 23 minutes after leaving the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh with 224 on board
- The doomed jet was owned by an Irish company and leased to a Russian airline carrying tourists to St Petersburg
- Initial reports that experienced pilot warned of ‘technical problem’ shortly before disaster have now been rejected
- The jet was plunging at more than 6,000 feet per minute as the pilot tried to land at el-Arish airport in northern Egypt
- Tonight, Egyptian officials said they had recovered black box, which has been sent away to be analysed by experts
- They also released first images of mangled wreckage of plane, showing bits of aircraft strewn across Sinai desert
- Victims include a 10-month-old baby girl, as well as two siblings aged two and three, and numerous other children
- Despite ISIS’s claims of responsibility, Cairo and Moscow have denied any possible terrorism link in the incident
ISIS has released a video purporting to show the final moments of the Russian jet that crashed in Egypt, killing all 224 people on board.
The terror group has claimed it downed the aircraft, but has not said how it might have done so. The horrific footage – which was posted online and cannot be verified by MailOnline – shows a large structure resembling a plane falling through the air, before being consumed by a mass of smoke.
Cairo and Moscow have denied any possible terrorism link in the incident, which was one of the deadliest Airbus crashes in the past decade.
However, it has emerged that the aircraft broke up mid-air scattering debris and bodies over a wide area. This morning, Egyptian authorities recovered the body of a three-year-old girl some five miles from the crash scene.
‘The burning plane’: ISIS yesterday released a video purporting to show the moment the burning Airbus A321 plummeted through the sky before hitting the ground. The horrific footage – which was posted online and cannot be verified by MailOnline – shows a large structure resembling a plane falling through the air (left), before being consumed by a mass of smoke (right) and eventually splitting in two (right)
Horrific: This is one of the first images of the mangled wreckage of the Russian passenger jet that crashed yesterday, killing 224 people
Torn apart: The harrowing photos of the wreckage were released by the office of Egyptian Prime Minister Sharif Ismail, who visited the site
Devastating: Passengers’ belongings, pieces of metal and other bits of the aircraft lay strewn across the sand following the deadly crash
“Where are all the body parts? “
The aircraft was flying through the danger zone in the Sinai peninsula at 31,000 feet when lost radio contact and crashed
So far, only 163 bodies of the 224 people on board have been recovered. As a result, authorities are expanding the search perimeter to nine miles.
An Egyptian security official said: ‘We found a three-year-old girl eight kilometres from the scene.’ He said many of the bodies are missing limbs.
It comes as it has emerged that the burning Airbus A321 did not lodge an SOS call before it plummeted to he ground in the restive Sinai Peninsula.
Professor Michael Clarke, Director General of the Royal United Services Institute said early indications suggest that the jet may have been destroyed by a bomb on the aircraft.
He told BBC Radio Five Live: ‘This aircraft was 200km north of its take-off zone, that means it was flying at around 31,000 feet. Terrorists, as far as we know, don’t have equipment to take down an aircraft at that height.
‘They have shoulder-launched missiles, known as man-portable missiles. They can get aircraft when they are taking off or landing, when they are going low and slow. But anything above 8,000 or 9,000 feet is out of the range of the weapons that they’ve got.’
He said the area where the jet crashed is a known location for groups affiliated to Al Qaeda and ISIS, but it was highly unlikely that a ground-based weapon was responsible for the in-flight break up.
‘Early reports said it split into two and that suggests a catastrophic failure, not a mechanical failure, but perhaps an explosion on board, so I would be much more inclined to think, if we have to guess at this stage, it is much more likely to have been a bomb on board than a missile fired from the ground.
‘And there’s no sign of a distress call, so the idea that the aircraft was undergoing an mechanical problem, or an engine problem, or a fire, or something like that, you would expect that there would be some sort of distress call beforehand.
‘So the fact that there was a catastrophic failure at 31,000 feet, with the aircraft falling in two pieces, suggests to me an explosion on board. So was this caused by some form of terrible accident, which is unlikely, or a bomb, which is much more likely, my mind is moving in that direction rather than anything that happened on the ground.’
Tragic: It comes as officials have recovered the Airbus A321’s black box, which is now being examined by experts to determine the cause of the disaster. Above, an item of clothing lies at the crash site (left), while officials walk past debris from the downed plane (right)
The doomed Airbus A321, pictured earlier this month in Moscow was reported missing soon after it took off from Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, officials claimed the pilot warned of a technical problem before the disaster and asked to land at the nearest available airport
ISIS tried to claim responsibility for the plane crash which claimed the lives of some 220 mostly Russian passengers and crew suggesting their action was in response to Russia’s decision to bomb Islamic fighters in Syria in a bid to prop up Basher al-Assad’s regime
Egyptian officials confirmed there have been no survivors as more than 120 bodies including the 25 children have been recovered
Egypt’s civil aviation minister Hossam Kamal said communications between the pilot and air traffic controllers were ‘normal’ ahead of the disaster.
‘There was nothing abnormal… and the pilot didn’t ask to change the plane’s route,’ he said, adding that the controllers recorded no distress calls.
His comments contradicted earlier claims that the pilot had reported technical difficulties and made clear his intention to land at the nearest airport.
Family and friends were yesterday pictured grieving for their loved ones – as harrowing images of the plane’s mangled wreckage were released.
The photos were distributed by the office of Egyptian Prime Minister Sharif Ismail, who visited the crash site following the devastating crash.
They show the destroyed interior of the Irish-owned aircraft, which split apart upon impact, killing 192 adults, 25 children and seven crew members.
Yesterday afternoon, officials said they had recovered the aircraft’s black box, which is now being examined to determine the cause of the crash.
Last night, the prime minister’s office said: ‘The black box was recovered from the tail of the plane and has been sent to be analysed by experts.’
It added that more than 45 ambulances have been dispatched to the crash site, with rescuers having recovered 129 victims’ bodies so far.
The jet, which was leased by a Russian airline and carrying package holiday passengers back to St Peterburg in northern Russia, plummeted to the ground less than 25 minutes after it took off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik. It crashed in the Hassana area, south of Arish, officials said.
Its passengers included a 10-month-old baby girl flying home with her parents, as well as two siblings aged two and three. Numerous other children aged under 11 also perished in the disaster, according to a manifest of passengers published by the Association of Tour Operators of Russia.
The victims’ bodies were spread over a three-mile radius, according to reports.
Security forces discovered the plane wreckage in a remote mountainous area in a region containing many ISIS-affiliated terrorists.
Ismail told reporters that experts will ‘start examining the information in the plane’s black box, and based on this we will study the causes of the crash’.
He also expressed scepticism about ISIS’s claim that it carried out the attack in response to Russian strikes in Syria.
The ISIS statement read: ‘The soldiers of the caliphate succeeded in bringing down a Russian plane in Sinai.’
However, Islami claimed: ‘Experts have affirmed that technically planes at this altitude cannot be shot down, and the black box will be the one that will reveal the reasons for the crash,’ according to state news agency MENA.
Russian transport minister Maksim Sokolov also dismissed the ISIS claims. He said: ‘This information cannot be considered accurate. We are in close contact with our Egyptian colleagues and aviation authorities in the country. At present, they have no information that would confirm such insinuations.’
Neither official mentioned the terror group’s video purporting to show the falling plane.
While the use of a surface-to-air missile has been dismissed as a potential cause of the crash by officials, an on-board bomb could be a possibility.
Fatal disaster: Yesterday afternoon, German airline Lufthansa said they will no longer fly over the Sinai peninsula ‘as long as the cause for [the] crash has not been clarified’. Air France later said the same. Above, debris from the crashed jet is pictured in the Sinai desert
Remote area: Security forces discovered the wreckage in a remote mountainous area in an area containing many ISIS-affiliated terrorists
Remains: This evening, the prime minister’s office said: ‘The black box was recovered from the tail of the plane and has been sent to be analysed by experts.’ Above, Mr Ismail (far right, in a black suit) is seen looking at the remains of the crashed passenger jet in Hassana
Recorder: In this image released by the Prime Minister’s office, Mr Ismail, third right, observes the plane’s flight data recorder with officials
A sad situation: Egyptian officials receive the corpses of 34 passengers following the deadly crash. A cause is yet to be established
Egyptian authorities have removed the first bodies from the scene by a military Chinook helicopter to Kabrit airport in Suez, pictured
Grieving friends relatives arrived at St Petersburg airport yesterday morning as they awaited news about the disaster from airline officials