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St PETERSBURG, October 31. /TASS/. Bodies of the people who died in Saturday’s air accident in Egypt will be transported to St Petersburg as of Sunday, officials at the city administration said.
"We expect the first plane (with the bodies) to land here already tomorrow," Leonid Bogdanov, the chairman of the city government’s committee for legality, order and security told reporters.
Forensic identification of the victims will be done in St Petersburg, he indicated.
In the meantime, the city’s Vice Governor Igor Albin told the Moscow-based Rossiya’24 news channel the bodies of all the victims would be brought to St Petersburg over a period of twenty-four hours.
"Four planes of the Emergency Situations Ministry are engaged in the transportation of experts and repatriation of the victims’ bodies," he said
Each plane can carry up to 80 bodies, Albin said at a meeting of an emergency commission set up by the ministry.
Egyptian specialists have begun conducting DNA tests on bodies of the passengers of the Russian A321 aircraft that crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Saturday morning.
Remains of 34 people as well as other victims’ body fragments had been transported to the Egyptian capital’s morgue, sources in Cairo told TASS.
"At the moment required forensic tests, including the DNA tests, are being conducted with the aim to identify the victims," the sources said adding that preliminary results would be handed to Russian experts expected to arrive soon.
Earlier in the day, local media reported that an aircraft of the Egyptian Air Force had landed at a military base in north Cairo, carrying the passengers’ bodies that were later transported to Cairo’s Zeinhom morgue. Latest reports say that 140 bodies have been taken out of the crash site and military aircraft continue to airlift the bodies to Egypt’s capital.
On Saturday morning, Kogalymavia airline’s Flight 9268 carrying Russian tourists home on board an Airbus A321 aircraft crashed 30 minutes after taking off. The plane wreckage was spotted in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, some 100 kilometres south of the city of El-Arish.
There were 217 passengers and seven crew members on board, most of them were Russian nationals. Besides, four Ukrainians and one Belarusian were reported to have been on the plane. According to Egypt’s officials, no-one survived.
November 1 is declared a day of mourning in Russia.