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MOSCOW, November 5. /TASS/. Rescuers have completed the search effort at the area of 33 square kilometers at the site of A321 jet crash in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the acting head of Russia’s National Crisis Management Center of the Russian Emergencies Ministry said on Thursday.
"Search effort continues at the crash site. The search zone has been expanded to 40 square kilometers. Search at [area of] 33 square kilometers is completed," Alexei Smirnov said during the meeting of a task group of the government’s commission on emergency situations.
On Wednesday, Russian rescuers found more body parts, personal belongings and documents of the passengers of the crashed plane, including four passports of Russian nationals.
The search effort resumed at 7 a.m. Moscow time (0400GMT) on Thursday. Russia's investigators are carrying out additional examination of large pieces of plane debris at a hard-to-reach area, the head of task group of the Emergencies Ministry in Sinai, Alexander Agafonov, said.
As of Thursday, 58 victims of the A321 jet crash in Egypt have been identified, Russia’s first deputy Health Minister Igor Kagramanyan told a telephone conference of the working group at the Russian Emergencies Ministry chaired by Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov.
"As of this morning, 58 victims’ bodies have been identified," he said.
According to him, 10 ambulance crews are on duty in St.Petersburg, a mobile medical laboratory has been deployed at the place where the identification is carried out.
For his part, Deputy Emergencies Minister Leonid Belyaev said that, as of Thursday, four victims’ bodies have been handed over to relatives. In addition to that, the Emergencies Minister’s aircraft are on duty at St.Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport to deliver the bodies to relatives in the regions.
The remains of the victims were transported on November 3 to the Russian Center of Forensic Medical Expertise in Moscow. On November 4 biological materials were obtained from relatives of those who lost their lives in the crash. "Work has begun on genotype separation and comparative molecular genetic studies," he said.
An A321 passenger jet of Russia’s Kogalymavia air carrier (flight 9268) bound to St. Petersburg crashed on October 31 some 30 minutes after the takeoff from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh. The debris was found 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of the administrative centre of North Sinai Governorate, the city of Al-Arish. All 217 passengers and seven crewmembers were killed. Most passengers were Russian nationals. Among the people onboard were also four Ukrainian citizens and one Belarusian national.