An EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo lost contact with radar early Thursday morning with 66 passengers and crew on board.
Here's what we know.
What happened to Airbus A320 Flight MS804?
The plane disappeared from radar over the Mediterranean Sea early Thursday and crashed, French President Francois Hollande confirmed in a news conference. Hollande said it was too early to determine the cause of the crash. Greek officials said the jet apparently made two sharp turns then suddenly lost altitude before vanishing from radar. EgyptAir said the Airbus A320 commercial airline jet lost radar contact at 2:45 a.m. local time at 37,000 feet. The aircraft normally travels the 1,993-mile distance from Paris to Cairo in 4 hours and 20 minutes. Egypt’s state news agency quoted Prime Minister Sherif Ismail as saying there was no "distress call."
Who was aboard the plane?
The plane was traveling with 10 crew and 56 passengers, including one child and two infants. EgyptAir listed the nationalities of the passengers as: 30 Egyptians, 15 French, two Iraqis and one each from Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria, Canada, Great Britain, Belgium, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Who is looking for the missing jet?
Egypt's Civil Aviation Ministry said search and rescue teams were looking for the missing jet near the Greek island of Crete. The airline tweeted that special teams from the Egyptian Armed Forces had also joined the search. France offered to send military planes and boats. Greece's defense ministry mobilized a search and rescue operation. A Greek military official told the Associated Press that an Egyptian search plane located two orange items believed to be from the missing flight 230 miles southeast of Crete.
Is there any connection to terrorism?
We don't know. There was no immediate information about what caused the plane's disappearance from radar. Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi said the possibility of a terror attack as the cause of the crash was “stronger” than technical failure. Russian officials and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump also speculated that terrorism could be the cause. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said no scenario could be ruled out at the moment. White House aides said President Obama was briefed on the missing plane Thursday morning by his top homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, Lisa Monaco. “The president asked to be updated throughout the day as the situation warrants, and directed administration officials to reach out to their international counterparts to offer support and assistance," deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said.
What were the weather conditions?
Conditions were clear and calm when the plane crossed over the Mediterranean Sea.
How widely used is the airbus?
The A320 is one of the most used Airbus planes. It is a single-aisle plane that usually seats about 150 people and is used for short- and medium-range flights around the world. Nearly 4,000 are in operation, according the company’s website.
How can family find out more information?
EgyptAir has provided free contact numbers for loved ones: 080077770000 from any landline in Egypt and + 202 25989320 outside Egypt or any mobile in Egypt.