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Summary

  1. Debris and passengers' personal belongings found 295km (185 miles) north of Alexandria
  2. Items found by search teams include a body part, luggage and seats
  3. Egyptian authorities have said terror is the most likely cause, but there is no evidence yet to back up claim
  4. No group has claimed responsibility for the crash, says the BBC's jihadist monitoring team
  5. Radar suggests plane made two sharp turns, plunged 27,000 ft, then span 360 degrees
  6. Search for wreckage and black boxes continues, led by Egypt with assistance from France, UK, US
  7. 66 people on board included 30 Egyptians, 15 French people, two Canadians and people of 10 other nationalities including one Briton
  8. All times in BST (GMT+1)

Live Reporting

By Nalina Eggert, Joel Gunter and Alex Therrien

All times stated are UK

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We're pausing our live page for now

 Here's a summary of the latest developments:

  • Human remains and aircraft seats are among the debris found floating in the Mediterranean Sea
  • Search teams are combing the waters in an area with a 65km (40 mile) radius
  • An oil slick has been spotted by satellite, but there is no confirmation that it has come from the EgyptAir plane
  • It remains unclear why the plane crashed
  • Here is our main story 
  • You can read a summary of what we know so far about MS804
  • You can also keep up to date with our coverage on BBC TV and radio.  

Richard Osman

The brother of a Welshman on board the crashed EgyptAir flight says the last two days have been "overwhelming" as the family await more news.

Read more

Ex-BA pilot on why MS804 made sharp turn

"The initial action when something catastrophic happens...is to turn off the airway"
Former British Airways pilot Eric Moody says that EgyptAir flight MS804 may have turned off its flight route to avoid descending into "something coming the other way."
Online
The brother of a Welshman on board the crashed EgyptAir flight describes him as a role model with a warm heart.

Search area 'will need to be expanded hour by hour'

The search operation in the Mediterranean will need to be extended for every hour that it continues, according to a maritime security expert.

Ioannis Chapsos, a research fellow at Coventry University, has written a piece for The Conversation on the difficulties facing the MS804 search and recovery crews.

He writes: "An aircraft that crashes on land may end up in inaccessible areas such as tropical forests or mountain peaks, but it will remain at the same location. 

"At sea, however, the additional dimension of depth makes the rescue teams’ efforts extremely hard.

"As time passes by, sea currents and weather conditions will cause wreckage to drift. 

"In practice, this means the search and rescue area must continue to expand for every hour the search goes on."

Pope offers 'prayers and solidarity' with families

The Vatican says the pope has conveyed his solidarity to Egypt's president and the families of the victims, AP reports.

The Vatican's secretary of state said in a message to President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi that Pope Francis "wishes to assure you of his prayers and solidarity at this difficult time". 

The Pope also offered "divine blessings of strength and peace" to the relatives of the passengers and those involved in the search operations.

Image of Pascal Hess, one of the victims of flight MS804, from a 2010 YouTube interview

One flight MS804 passenger almost did not make the trip after losing his passport last week, only for it to be found on the street days later, his friends say.

Read more

EgyptAir chairman: Search teams focusing on 65km area

Safwat Moslem, the chairman of EgyptAir, says the current search area has a 65km (40 mile) radius, but it will be expanded if necessary. 

bbc
bbc

Egyptian navy finds more remains and debris

The Egyptian navy says it has found more wreckage from the MS804, including human remains, luggage and passengers' seats.

Earlier today, an Egyptian military spokesperson said wreckage and passengers' belongings had been found 290km (180 miles) north of Alexandria.

In a statement, Egypt's civil aviation ministry said: "The Egyptian navy was able to retrieve more debris from the plane, some of the passengers' belongings, human remains, and plane seats. The search is ongoing."

Plane made emergency landing in 2013 after engine fault

EgyptAir
AP

The BBC has discovered that the EgyptAir plane that disappeared yesterday had previously made an emergency landing at Cairo airport.

On 25 June 2013, en route from Cairo to Istanbul, as the aircraft was climbing to 24,000 feet, the pilot noticed that the number one engine was overheating.

He decided to turn the aeroplane round and fly it back to Cairo. The official report (in Arabic) says a technical defect was found in the engine and was repaired. 

Philip Hammond tweets support to family of British MS804 passenger

The UK's Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, has tweeted his support to the family of Richard Osman, the Welsh geologist who was on board MS804.  

Thoughts are with family & friends of British national Richard Osman during this extremely difficult time #EgyptAir #MS804

'No known terror suspects on MS804'

Associated Press

The passenger manifest for MS804 contained no known names on current terror watch lists, three European security officials have said, according to the Associated Press news agency.

The lists are often used by both European and US security and law enforcement agencies, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to comment on the ongoing investigation, AP reports.

Ex-BA pilot on why MS804 may have made sharp turn

Eric Moody
BBC

Former British Airways pilot Eric Moody has spoken to the BBC about why MS804 reportedly made two sharp turns before dropping more than 25,000ft (7,620m) and plunging into the sea.

Mr Moody said the sudden 90 degree turn, the first sharp maneuver recorded by military radar, may have been the pilot turning out of the airway - a kind of pathway planes stick to. 

"You would turn off because you wouldn’t want to descend ... in case you descended into something coming the other way," he said.

“I would think then something happened and it went totally out of control.”

Gap in air traffic control log 2min, 40sec, not 12 min

Earlier the BBC, and others, reported on an apparent 12 minute gap in the air traffic control log between a failed attempt to contact the aircraft and it disappearing from radar.

But the Greek ATC timeline reported by news agencies appears to have been wrong. 

A statement from the Greece's aviation authority (HCAA) says the gap between the first failed attempt to contact the aircraft and it dropping off radar was two minutes 40 seconds.

Here's the full timeline published by the HCAA:

  • Egypt Air flight MSR 804, A320 en route from Paris to Cairo entered ATHINAI FIR at 02:24 am local time. It was Radar identified and cleared by the competent Air Traffic Controller for the flight path.

  • At 02:48 am local time, the flight was transferred to the next Area Control Center Sector and was cleared by the ATC for the exit point of ATHINAI FIR. The pilot was jocund and thanked in Greek.

  • At 03:27 am local time, ATHINAI Area Control Center tried to communicate with the flight for transfer of communication and control from ATHINAI FIR to CAIRO FIR.

  • Despite the repetitive calls, the flight did not respond and thus the Air Traffic Controller called on the emergency frequency without response.

  • At 03:29 am local time the flight was over the boundary point, between ATHINAI and CAIRO FIRs.

  • At 03:29:40 am local time the flight signal was lost from radar, almost 7 NM south/southeast from KUMBI point (boundary point, between ATHINAI and CAIRO FIRs), within Cairo FIR.

  • Immediate assistance of the Hellenic Air Force radars was requested for possible target tracking, with no avail.

  • At 03:45 am local time Search and Rescue (SAR) operations were activated through JRCC (Joint Rescue Coordination Center), NAOP (National Air Operations Center) and ADIC (Air Defense Information Center), while updating the Egyptian Civil Aviation Authorities.  

Philip Hammond pledges UK support for search

Philip Hammond
EPA

UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has pledged continued support for the ongoing search for wreckage of the MS804. 

He said: "We have offered the Egyptian government any support that it requires in searching for wreckage, in analysing anything that is found. 

"So far we haven't had any requests but I will be speaking to my Egyptian counterpart in just a few minutes' time."

Families hold 'symbolic' funerals for loved ones in EgyptAir crash

The BBC's Middle East correspondent, Lina Sinjab, who is in Cairo, says some families have already carried out funerals with empty coffins for their loved ones.

She said: "The rituals here are they have to bury the dead as soon as they die, but they are in a really difficult position because they don't know if the bodies would ever arrive, so they're still waiting at the moment. 

"They did this as a symbolic move to commemorate their lost ones."  

Satellite spots 'potential oil slick' near debris site

The European Space Agency (ESA) says one of its satellites has detected what appears to be a 2km-long oil slick in the eastern Mediterranean Sea – in the same area that Flight MS804 disappeared.

The ESA said it had given information related to the image to the authorities involved in the search.

The agency has been scrutinising satellite data since the aircraft vanished, looking for any clues as to why and where it went down.

According to the satellite image, the slick was at 33°32' N / 29°13' E – about 40 km southeast of the last known location of the aircraft. 

#Sentinel1 spots potential oil slick from missing #EgyptAir flight #MS804 esa.int/Our_Activities…

#Sentinel1 spots potential oil slick from missing #EgyptAir flight #MS804 esa.int/Our_Activities…

Cairo filmmaker posts tribute to four family members

Osman Abu Laban, a Cairo-based Lebanese film director, has posted on his Facebook page to say that he lost four members of his family in the crash - his uncle, aunt, cousin and his cousin's wife.  

He posted pictures of the family members and a message praying that they would find peace.

BBC
Facebook

US Secretary of State John Kerry pledges US support

John Kerry
Reuters

US Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry that the US will continue to support the investigation and search for Flight MS804.

The State Department said Mr Kerry offered Mr Shoukry condolences for the lives lost in the plane crash and promised to stay in close contact as the investigation progresses.

Wreckage may be on area of ocean floor 'more like Alps'

Map of area where MS804 crashed
BBC

Oceanographer Dr Simon Boxall tells the BBC that Flight MS804 went down in a very difficult part of the Mediterranean to search.

"I think the assumption is that this is a shallow water area but it's not, this part of the Mediterranean is really quite deep," he said.

"We only have limited information about the crash location, but if it is where this debris has been found then it sits on a boundary where the ocean floor is more like the Alps, very rugged and contoured.

"That area borders a large, deep plain about 3km down."

Dr Boxall said an aircraft such as the A320 could easily "slip through the cracks" of the ocean floor in the area.

"This is a very soft sediment area and wreckage could sink very quickly, so they need to find it fast," he said.

The ocean floor ridges could also act to block signals from the black box pinger, and sonar from vessels searching for the wreckage, he said.

"Having thought this was a relatively simple one, it could actually be very difficult."

'Some were fatalistic, others pragmatic' - passengers land in Cairo after crash

There was a "mix of attitudes" among passengers on flights into Cairo after the EgyptAir plane crashed, the BBC's Kevin Connolly says.

"On mine, some were fatalistic, others nervously pragmatic - one passenger told me he could not afford to change expensive, long-laid travel plans, however grim the news. Some were more openly apprehensive." 

Read more from Kevin: EgyptAir crash fuels fears and theories

Body part, seats and items of luggage found - Greek defence minister

A body part, seats and one or more items of luggage have been found by crews searching for the wreckage of EgyptAir Flight MS804, Greece's defence minister has confirmed. 

"A few hours earlier we were informed (by Egyptian authorities) that a body part, two seats and one or more items of luggage where found in the search area," Panos Kammenos told a news conference. 

Mr Kammenos said the items were found in the search area slightly to the south of where the aircraft had vanished from radar, and slightly north of some earlier, unconfirmed debris sightings.

He said the aircraft had not deviated from its planned flight path through Greek airspace.

UK sends Royal Navy vessel and C130 Hercules to assist search effort

An RAF C-130 Hercules aircraft in flight
AFP

UK Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship the RFA Lyme Bay, which was stationed south-east of Crete, is following the flight path of EgyptAir Flight MS804 en route to the debris site.

Britain has also committed an RAF C-130 aircraft, based at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. The C130 has completed a reconnaissance flight overnight and is now flying a second mission.

The UK government has said it is "ready to offer further assistance should it be required".

British experts will be part of the team of air crash investigators to examine the wreckage of the plane when it is brought ashore.

The debris site and approximate search area for EgyptAir wreckage

Rescue teams are currently looking for more debris from the crashed EgyptAir plane:

BBC map
BBC

Crash site located, attention will turn to search for black box

BBC
BBC

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in 2014 introduced the world to towed pinger locators, ocean floor topography, search grids - the intricacies of looking for a missing aircraft at sea.

The key is to find the black box, or flight data recorder, which records the goings on in the cockpit as well as vast amounts of data about the aircraft's movements.

MH370's black box remains missing, along with the truth about what happened to the plane. Air crash investigators working on the EgyptAir crash will be hoping to avoid a similar limbo in this case. 

But the area of the Mediterranean in which the plane is thought to have crashed is not shallow, it's about 3,000m down to the floor.

Black boxes give off ultrasonic signals - or "pings" - for about a month until their batteries die. The vessels searching for the EgyptAir box may need to lower a "towed pinger locator" in order to get within range, as they did in the case of MH370.

France, which is assisting in the search for Flight MS804, has experience in deep water aircraft searches. In 2009,Air France Flight 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. The first wreckage was found within days, but the black boxes were not found for two years, well after their pinger battery had expired.

They were eventually spotted by an unmanned deep-water submersible.

MS804 passenger 'almost missed flight, but found passport in the street'

Reports from Normandy, France, say Pascal Hess, 51, nearly missed Flight 804 after losing his passport days earlier. But the passport was later found in the street in the town of Evreux, where he lived, allowing him to make the flight, a community website said (in French).

A minute's silence was held on Friday to remember Mr Hess, a freelance rock photographer, the website says.

Read more about the victims of Flight MS804

Egyptian president expresses 'utmost sadness and regret' over crash

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has offered condolences to the families of victims 

His office said in a statement: "The presidency with utmost sadness and regret mourns the victims on aboard the EgyptAir flight who were killed after the plane crashed in the Mediterranean on its way back to Cairo from Paris."

A new father, a family of four, a son in mourning: Victims' stories emerge

Richard Osman is thought to have been the sole Briton aboard the flight
Athena
Richard Osman is thought to have been the sole Briton aboard the flight

Stories of passengers are beginning to emerge. Among them, a Briton who recently became a father for the second time, a family of four, and a son going home to mourn his brother.

A father to a newborn baby 

Richard Osman, a 40-year-old Welsh-born geologist, had recently become a father for the second time.

Mr Osman’s French-born wife, Aurelie, 36, gave birth to their daughter Olympe on 27 April, a sister to their 14-month old daughter Victios. The couple lived on Jersey.  

A family of four

French media say an unnamed couple in their 40s from Angers in north-west France were on the plane along with their two children.

Reports said the couple owned a market stall, and that one of their children was a baby.

A son who recently lost his mother

A spokesman for Chad's embassy in France confirmed to the BBC a Chadian citizen had been on board, but did not name him.

"He just lost his mother actually," the spokesman said. "He was going to Chad to mourn his mother. He [was] going to give condolences to his family."

A mother of three boys

Canadian media named one of the victims as Marwa Hamdy, an executive with IBM originally from Saskatoon in the province of Saskatchewan, but who had relocated to Cairo.

A family friend told the National Post that Ms Hamdy, a mother of three boys aged between 11 and 16, had been visiting family in Paris.

Read more stories here: EgyptAir crash: Who were the victims of MS804?

Plane debris will be examined by investigators from Egypt, UK and France

When the debris from EgyptAir Flight MS804 is brought ashore it will be examined by air crash investigators from several different countries. 

The investigation will be led by Egyptian Ayman el-Mokadam. He will be joined by French and British investigators as well as an expert from Airbus, the manufacturer of the aircraft. 

Repeated calls go unanswered, then a radar blip disappears

BBC transport correspondent Richard Westcott has pointed out a 50-minute gap between the aircraft's final communication with Greek air traffic control and its disappearance from radar.

Greek air traffic controllers say they had a normal communication with the pilot at 02:48 local time. Then 40 minutes later repeated calls went unanswered by the plane, and radar signal was lost 10 minutes after that. 

Greek ATC timeline. #EgyptAir #MS804 02:48 speak to pilot, all ok. 03:27 repeated calls unanswered. 03:39 lose signal. Quite a gap there.

'No credible information' of Islamic State or other jihadist involvement

BBC Monitoring

Mina Al-Lami, a jihadist media expert for the BBC Monitoring team, says there has so far been “no credible indication” to suggest that the so-called Islamic State (IS) or any other jihadist group was involved in the aircraft’s disappearance.

“Certainly there has been no claim of responsibility,” she said, adding that IS usually claims responsibility “within hours” of an attack.

“Usually these claims of responsibility are preceded by frenzied chatter by its supporters online. This hasn’t happened in the case of the Egyptian airliner.”

EgyptAir confirms debris find

EgyptAir has confirmed on its Twitter feed that debris and personal belongings have been found 295km off the coast of Alexandria.

عثرت القوات المسلحة المصرية في الساعات الأولي من صباح اليوم علي بعد 295 كيلو من سواحل الأسكندرية علي بقايا حطام ومتعلقات الرحلة ٨٠٤

BreakingEgyptian Air Force says it has found debris from plane

The Egyptian Air Force says it has found wreckage from the missing EgyptAir plane.

A military spokesman said in a statement that wreckage and personal belongings of passengers were found 290km off the Egyptian coast, north of the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.

The spokesman said the Navy was sweeping the area for the aircraft's black box.

EgyptAir officials said 100 relatives of the missing passengers have gathered at a Cairo hotel.

EgyptAir source confirms names of pilot and co-pilot

An EgyptAir source has confirmed to the BBC the names of pilot Mohammed Saeed Ali Ali Shoqeir and co-pilot Mohamed Ahmed Mamdouh Ahmed Assem.

On Thursday, the airline said the pilot had 6,275 hours of flying experience, including 2,101 hours on the Airbus A320, while the co-pilot had 2,766 hours of flying experience.

Passengers' families to attend French Foreign Ministry briefing

Families of Flight MS804's passengers, and diplomats representing their countries, will attend a briefing at the French Foreign Ministry on Saturday, according to French newspaper La Croix.

The paper quotes a Foreign Ministry statement as saying that all available information will be shared with the families and their representatives.

The search effort: 'Easier than the search for MH370, but the water is deep'

Search efforts are drawing inevitable comparisons with another recent air disaster thought to have occurred over sea - the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

Dr Simon Boxall, an oceanographer from the University of Southampton who studied the area over which the EgyptAir flight disappeared, told the BBC:

"This one is an interesting one. Much easier than MH370 in terms of the access to site and there is much better data on where to look. The search also started while the pinger in the black box was fresh. But the Levantine Basin is deep - 3,000m - and this is not an area of calm seas, even in May."

Graham Braithwaite, a professor of safety at the Accident Investigation Centre at Cranfield University, said he expects they will begin with a large search area:

"You would tend to search in a grid pattern and try and narrow down the search area using aircraft to do that. And that often takes a while to get assembled and get started. Certainly in past accidents where perhaps there has been an explosion at altitude... the wreckage tends to scatter itself over a much larger pattern."

BBC
BBC

Plane's manoeuvres suggest 'interference' on flight deck

Mike Vivian, former head of operations at the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority, told the BBC he thought the plane’s sharp manoeuvres before disappearing from radar were more likely to be caused by human interference than by a bomb.

“It looks highly unlikely that this was consistent with some sort of explosive device,” he said.

“One's inclined to go towards the theory that there had been some interference in the aircraft and on the flight deck, with the control of the aircraft.”

Flight MS804's possible final movements
BBC

'No merchant vessels' on day two of search

Ship tracking service Marine Traffic says that merchant vessels are no longer helping in the search, which is being led by the Egyptian Navy.

It seems like no merchant vessels have joined the second-day #EgyptAir #MS804 search ops. NW winds 7-13knots

It seems like no merchant vessels have joined the second-day #EgyptAir #MS804 search ops. NW winds 7-13knots

French foreign minister: 'No indication' of what brought down flight

France's foreign minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, has said there is "absolutely no indication" of what caused the crash.

Speaking to French TV on Friday morning, he said: "We are looking at all possibilities, but none is being favoured." 

Egyptian authorities have said they believe a terror attack is the most likely cause, but there is no firm evidence of an attack and no group has claimed responsibility. 

A French military Falcon jet is helping in the search for debris. Junior transport minister Alain Vidalies said France could also offer undersea search equipment and experts. 

Flight MS804: No debris found, search enters second day

We are restarting our live coverage of the search for missing EgyptAir Flight MS804, which disappeared en route from Paris to Cairo in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Here's what we know so far:

  • A massive search is under way over the Mediterranean, led by the Egyptian navy and air force with British, French, Greek and US support.
  • No debris has been found. Earlier reports of wreckage have been retracted, after the objects were found to be unconnected to the EgyptAir flight. 
  • Egyptian authorities say the plane was more likely to have been brought down by a terrorist act than a technical fault, but there is no firm evidence of an explosion.
  • No group has claimed responsibility for downing the plane. 
  • Military radar data suggests the plane made two sharp turns, 90 degrees to the left then 360 degrees to the right, while falling more than 25,000ft (7,620m).
  • The plane had 66 people on board, including 30 Egyptians, 15 French people, two Canadians and people of 10 other nationalities, including one Briton.
  • Greek air traffic controllers spoke to the pilot at 00:48 BST as the plane flew over the island of Kea. He was in good spirits and reported no problems, the HCAA said.

For Twitter coverage, follow our correspondents: Quentin Sommerville in Cairo, Lucy Williamson in Paris, and Frank Gardner, security correspondent.