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No information from UK on Russian plane crash in Egypt — Foreign Ministry

November 05, 2015, 15:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW
UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said earlier in the day that there was a significant possibility that the Russian plane crash in Egypt was caused "by an explosive device on board the aircraft"
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© Sergey Konkov/TASS

MOSCOW, November 5. /TASS/. London has given Moscow no information on the Russian plane crash in Egypt, Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

"The British government has given us no information on the plane crash. If they do have it and don’t share it with us, this is shocking," Zakharova said.

"If some countries have information on the plane crash it should be officially submitted to investigators," she added.

UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said earlier in the day that there was a "significant possibility" that the Russian plane crash in Egypt had been caused "by an explosive device on board the aircraft."

Speaking on the causes of the crash, Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said "all the versions are being considered and they are absolutely equal." He declined to comment on reports that an explosive device could have been possibly planted on the plane.

58 bodies identified

Russia’s Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov on Thursday said the remains of 58 out of 224 victims of the Russian plane crash in Egypt have been identified by now.

The transport minister reported to the Russian government on the work results of the state commission for the crash probe that had visited the plane crash site.

According to the minister, the plane of Russia’s Kogalymavia airline broke up in the air after 23 minutes of normal flight and its debris are staying on an area of over 20 square kilometers.

"At present, the search area has been expanded to 40 square kilometers," the transport minister said.

"Russia will take active part in the work of this commission," he added.

"On the disaster day, two onboard emergency flight recorders - a voice and a parametric recorder - were found and delivered to Cairo and work started yesterday to decipher them and the first records have been obtained," the Russian transport minister said, without specifying the results.

"Now 44 experts from urban and federal organizations, as well as 10 genetics experts from the Russian forensic center have been invited to hold forensic studies," the minister said.

Also, "work has been completed to study the remains that have been delivered [to Russia] and samples of biological material have been taken to conduct expert genetics examinations, including samples taken from the victims’ relatives," the transport minister said.

"Measures are under way for identification and authentication. By now, 58 bodies have been identified," he said.

"Death certificates will be issued pursuant to a conclusion of the Investigative Committee," the transport minister said.

"Medical assistance is being provided to relatives at the places of the bodies’ identification and 10 ambulance crews are involved in this effort. Over 500 psychologists are rendering psychological assistance and more than 100 citizens have turned for it," the transport minister said.

Russia warns against hasty conclusions on A321 jet crash in Egypt 

 Russia insists that no hasty conclusions should be made on the causes of the A321 passenger jet crash in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, a source in Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

"It is premature to make conclusions on the investigation into the crash of the Russian airliner in Sinai," the source stressed. "We are against hasty assessments that this was a terrorist attack. We have no such information."

"We should wait until the investigation ends and we believe speculations in this issue are incorrect," the source said.

Russian Kogalymavia’s Airbus A321 plane, en-route from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg, crashed in the early morning of October 31 just some 20 minutes after its takeoff. The disaster site is 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of the administrative center of North Sinai Governorate, the city of Al-Arish.

Flight 9268 carried 217 passengers and seven crewmembers and they were all officially announced dead following the tragic accident. Most passengers were Russian nationals. Among the passengers onboard were also four Ukrainian citizens and one Belarusian national.

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