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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-05-19

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Debris of Egypt Air flight located southeast of Crete, say ministry sources

  • [01] Debris of Egypt Air flight located southeast of Crete, say ministry sources

    Two orange objects were located 200-230 miles southeast of Crete inside Egyptian airspace by an Egyptian aircraft participating in the search and rescue operation for the EgyptAir flight that disappeared over the Mediterranean on Thursday morning, Defence ministry sources said.

    The airplane was en route from Paris to Cairo and had 66 people aboard.

    Greece's National Defence Minister Panos Kammenos on Thursday said that Greece has asked friendly and allied nations with satellites over the eastern Mediterranean to assist in efforts to discover what happened to a missing EgyptAir flight from Paris, whose radar signal was lost at 3:37 on Thursday morning. The minister said that satellite images might possibly provide clues that will help solve the mystery surrounding the plane's disappearance. Greece is currently participating in the French satellite programme Helios.

    The aircraft was flying at 37,000 feet and had just entered Egypt's Flight Information Region from the Athens FIR when it disappeared from the radar. It then carried out a 90 degree turn to the left, under unexplained conditions, followed by a 360 degree right-hand turn that brought it spiralling downward to first 15,000 feet and then at 10,000 feet, before it vanished from the radar screens entirely.

    Four minutes later, the Greek shipping ministry's Search and Rescue Coordination Centre gave orders for a Hellenic Airforce C-130 plane to take off from the military airfield in Elefsina to take part in the search and rescue operations, while the Hellenic Navy frigate "Nikoforos Fokas" set sail from Astypalaia for the search area.

    The range of the search area extends 40 miles around the point where the aircraft's signal disappeared and could possibly be extended further. Strong winds are currently blowing in the area, forcing the C-130 to fly at a height of less than 5,000 feet.

    Greece has agreed to the participation in the search of a French Falcon aircraft and a U.S. P-3C Orion. Egypt is participating with a C-130 and two F-16s.

    The defence minister contacted his Egyptian counterpart early on Thursday morning, expressing Greece's readiness to assist in the search effort and provide all necessary support to Egypt.

    The submarine "Matrozos", which is taking part in the NATO exercise "Active Endeavour" 100 miles from the search site, has been given orders to head toward the site if required and F-16s in Crete are on standby. An Air Force Super-Puma helicopter and a Sikorsky Navy helicopter are on the island of Karpathos in case they are needed for a retrieval operation.

    Kammenos said that Greece will be at the disposal of Egyptian authorities when they conduct an investigation into the airplane's crash, while noting that only four other civilian aircraft were in the air at the same time as the EgyptAir flight, and at a great distance.

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