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US satellite detects heat slash over Sinai at time of Russian jet crash

November 03, 2015, 7:09 UTC+3
According to the report published by CBS News, the data received from orbit was still being analyzed "in an effort to determine what caused the flash"
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© Maxim Grigoryev/TASS

WASHINGTON, November 3. /TASS/. As mystery continued surrounding Saturday's crash of the Airbus A321 Russian airliner in the central part of the Sinai peninsula, CBS News said a US infrared satellite detected a heat flash over the peninsula at the time the jet went down.

The report the channel published at its website said the data received from orbit was still being analyzed "in an effort to determine what caused the flash".

"One possibility is a bomb, but an explosion in a fuel tank or engine as a result of a mechanical failure is also possible," the channel said.

The A321 operated by the Kogalymavia airline collapsed shortly at daybreak on Saturday 23 minutes after takeoff from the Egyptian resort of Sharm al-Sheikh on the Red Sea. It was heading for St Petersburg and had 217 passengers and a seven-strong crew aboard.

The crash did not leave any survivors.

Russian experts have been saying there are strong indications the cockpit crew might have been incapacitated by an emergency of some kind and therefore was unable to send an alarm signal to the air controllers.

Also, it appears that the jet was losing speed and altitude fast enough in the last minutes of flight.

The airline vehemently denied any possibility of equipment failure, saying an external impact on the plane could have been the only explanation for the disaster.

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