CAIRO, May 20. /TASS/. A team of French investigators arrived on Thursday evening to Cairo to assist the investigation into the circumstances of the disappearance of the A320 passenger plane of EgyptAir, the Alyoum Alsabea news portal reported on Friday.
According to the report, the French experts were met at the airport by the EgyptAir Holding Company president and the security chief of Cairo International Airport.
It was reported earlier that three French investigators and one technical expert of the Airbus company were to go to Cairo. According to French Secretary of State for Transport Alain Vidalies, the investigators are employees of the French Bureau of Investigation and Analysis for the Security of Civil Aviation. France has the right to participate in the investigation, as the plane took off from Paris, it was built in France, and there were French citizens aboard, the experts told the local media.
In addition, according to Alyoum Alsabea, relatives of the French passengers of the missing airliner have arrived in the Egyptian capital. Earlier, the Egyptian authorities promised to assume all the costs of their accommodation and stay in Cairo.
The EgyptAir A320 aircraft en route from Paris to Cairo vanished 10 miles into Egyptian airspace while flying at around 11,000 meters. The aircraft disappeared from radars at 2:45am local time Thursday (3:45am Moscow time), 20 minutes before it was due to land. French President Francois Holland confirmed earlier that the plane had crashed.
According to latest reports, there were 56 passengers and 10 crew onboard. According to the passenger list provided by EgyptAir, 15 French citizens and 30 Egyptians were onboard, along with citizens of the United Kingdom, Belgium, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria, Canada.
The wreckage of the plane was discovered in the sea to the south of the Greek island of Karpathos. Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi said at a news conference that a terrorist act most likely occurred on board the aircraft rather than a technical malfunction.