Sequence of events in the Russian plane crash in Egypt
Following is a sequence of events since a Russian airliner crashed in Egypt last week, killing all 224 people on board.
The victims were mainly Russian tourists heading home to Saint Petersburg.
Saturday, October 31
- Just before 10:00 am (0800 GMT), Egypt announces that a "Russian civilian plane... crashed in the central Sinai" desert in the country's northeast.
The Airbus A321 operated by Russian company Kogalymavia, better known as Metrojet, was carrying 217 passengers and seven crew. It took off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh at 5:51 am (0351 GMT). Contact was lost 23 minutes after takeoff, while the plane was at an altitude of 30,000 feet (9,144 metres).
- Egypt quickly adds that there are no survivors.
- At 3:50 pm (1350 GMT), the Islamic State group's Egyptian affiliate claims it "succeeded in bringing down a Russian plane in Sinai". The group is active in the area where the plane crashed.
- Experts voice doubt that IS could have hit the plane with a missile, but do not rule out the possibility of a bomb on board.
- The plane's voice and data recorders are found a short time later.
Sunday, November 1
- A senior Russian aviation official says the Airbus broke apart "in the air" before it crashed, strewing debris over a wide area. The radius of the search area is increased to 15 kilometres (10 miles) and later to about 40 kilometres (25 miles).
- Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi cautions that it will take time before conclusions can be reached about what caused the crash.
Monday, November 2
- A first plane carrying the bodies of crash victims lands in Saint Petersburg.
- A senior Kogalymavia executive insists that "no technical failures" could account for the disaster, adding: "The only explanation is some kind of external action."
- In Washington, US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says he knows of no "direct evidence of any terrorist involvement" in the crash.
Tuesday, November 3
- Sisi tells the BBC the IS claim is "propaganda".
- Examination of the voice and data recorders begins in Egypt.
- US officials tell CNN that a military satellite detected a heat flash over the Sinai at the time of the crash.
Wednesday, November 4
- IS insists it downed the plane, but provides no new details.
- Britain says it is concerned the plane might have been brought down by a bomb and suspends flights from Sharm el-Sheikh. The announcement comes as Sisi arrives in London for a visit.
- A US official says "a bomb is a highly possible scenario".
- Ireland asks airlines flying its flag not to fly over the Sinai, a decision already taken by other airlines, including Air France, Emirates and Lufthansa.
- Thursday, November 5 -
- Britain plans to repatriate tourists from Sharm el-Sheikh.
- Egypt's civil aviation minister says investigators "have as yet no evidence" of a bomb attack.
- A Kremlin spokesman dismisses comments on possible causes of the crash as "speculation".
© 2015 AFP