Explosion heard on black box recorder from doomed Russian flight
The black box recorder of the Russian passenger plane that crashed on its way back from Egypt’s Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh last week killing all 224 people on board reportedly reveals a loud explosion heard on the jet before it went down.
Sky News, citing a report from French television channel France 2, reported Saturday that the black boxes from the doomed airliner “distinctly show the sound of an explosion during the flight.”
The report of an explosion heard on the black box recorder comes after British and American officials revealed that it was possible a bomb on board had brought the plane down. Russian officials responded Friday agreeing to suspend all Russian flights to Egypt.
The suspension, covering all of Egypt, is even more sweeping than the one previously imposed by Britain, which had halted flights to Sharm el-Sheikh only.
"I think it will be reasonable to suspend all Russian flights to Egypt until we determine the real reasons of what happened," intelligence chief Alexander Bortnikov said in televised comments. "It concerns tourist flights most of all."
Acting director of the Russian Association of Tour Operations, Maya Lomidze, said Saturday that 46 empty Russian planes are expected to be sent to Egypt to bring stranded tourists home and another 47 flights are planned for Sunday, the state news agency RIA-Novosti reported.
Nordic nations Denmark, Norway and Finland have also urged their citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Sharm el-Sheikh.
Norway's Foreign Ministry said Saturday it also urged people already in Sharm el-Sheik not to travel further around the Sinai Peninsula, where Egypt is fighting an Islamic insurgency. Finland made a similar recommendation.
A U.S. government source with the intelligence reaffirmed to Fox News the possibility of a “high end” device planted on the aircraft. A separate source said the “crash signature,” included the flash picked up by military intelligence, and the scope of the debris field were in keeping with a bomb.
While no firm conclusions about the cause of the crash have been made, and a catastrophic failure has not been ruled out, the Homeland Security department confirmed that increased screening at foreign airports with flights coming into the U.S. reflected the freshest information.