The missing EgyptAir Flight MS804 is believed to have crashed in the Mediterranean Sea, with Greek authorities having reportedly found debris.
An EgyptAir jet carrying 66 passengers and crew from Paris to Cairo disappeared from radar over the Mediterranean south of Greece on Thursday, with Athens saying the plane swerved in mid-air before plunging from cruising height and vanishing.
Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said it was too early to rule out any explanation, including an attack like the one blamed for bringing down a Russian airliner over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula last year.
There was no official indication of a possible cause, whether technical failure or sabotage by ultra-hardline Islamists who have targeted airports, airliners and tourist sites in Europe, Egypt, Tunisia and other Middle Eastern countries over the past few years.
The country’s aviation minister said a terrorist attack was more likely than a technical failure.
The aircraft was carrying 56 passengers – with one child and two infants among them – and 10 crew, EgyptAir said. They included 30 Egyptian and 15 French nationals, along with citizens of 10 other countries.
Greece deployed aircraft and a frigate to search for the missing Airbus and officials said they had found pieces of plastic and two life vests that appeared to have come from an aircraft in the sea 230 miles (370 km) south of Crete.
Egypt said it would lead the investigation and that France would participate. Other countries also offered to help, including Britain and the United States.