MOSCOW, November 1. /TASS/. Search for the bodies of passengers and crew killed when an Airbus A-321 came down early on Saturday on its way from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg will be completed within the next few days, Russian Minister for Emergency Situations Vladimir Puchkov told Rossiya 24 television.
"I am confident that literally within the next few days we will compete jointly with Egyptian colleagues all work to find the bodies and will offer necessary concrete assistance and support to every family," the minister said.
Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov, head of the governmental commission investigating the A321 aircraft crash in Egypt, Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov and Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) head Aleksandr Neradko arrived in Cairo earlier along with representatives of the Transport Ministry, the Investigative Committee, the Healthcare ministry and other agencies to look into all circumstances of the tragedy.
According to the emergencies ministry’s press service, Puchkov will coordinate activity of Russian rescuers at the scene. Rescuers with necessary hardware and equipment have also arrived in Egypt on two planes. Another plane of the emergencies ministry, an Ilyushin-76, is scheduled to fly to Egypt to airlift the bodies to St. Petersburg.
The Kogalymavia Flight 9268 came down about half-an-hour after taking off, 100 kilometers south of the administrative center of North Sinai governorate, the city of Al-Arish.
All 217 people on board were killed, the Egyptian authorities said. Most of the passengers were Russians. There were also four Ukrainians and a citizen of Belarus on board the ill-fated plane.
November 1 was declared a day of mourning across Russia.