By Leigha Wentz
International New Editor
Egyptian officials confirmed that a Russian airline crash in central Sinai has resulted in the deaths of all those aboard.
As reported by the BBC, the Airbus A-321 had departed the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh prior to the crash carrying 224 individuals to St. Petersburg. The plane went down approximately 20 minutes later over the Sinai Peninsula, prompting an immediate investigation on the part of Egyptian officials.
Despite the presence of active militants within the region, Egypt’s prime minister initially claimed that no violent actions were to blame for the plan crash.
Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov confirmed this assertion in a response to claims made by pro-ISIS jihadists that they had targeted the aircraft. Solokov stated that there was no evidence that the plane had been targeted by militants prior to the crash.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a day of mourning on Sunday, Nov. 1 in response to the crash and has called for an official investigation into the crash.
Egyptian officials said in a statement that 214 of the 217 passengers were Russian citizens. Russian authorities added that 138 of the deceased were women and 17 were children between the ages of 2 and 17.
The Associated Press reports that the pilot claimed to have had technical difficulties before the plan went missing, as reported in a statement by Egyptian aviation official Ayman al-Mukadem.
The German airline Lufthansa and Air France have both stated that they will alter their usual flight routes to avoid Sinai as a result of the crash. In contrast, British Airways and EasyJet have stated that they had no intentions of altering their regular routes.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, November 3rd print edition.
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