An EgyptAir flight flying from Paris to Cairo has crashed into the Mediterranean Sea early Thursday morning.
EgyptAir MS804, carrying 56 passengers and 10 crew, was lost from radar at 2:30 am local time. It vanished shortly after coming into Egyptian airspace.
According to Greek air traffic controllers, the pilot was in good spirits and did not report any problems as he flew over Greek airspace. The captain had 6,275 flying hours, including 2,101 on this plane’s model, the Airbus A320.
As reported on USA Today, Panos Kammenos the Greek Defense Minister said the Airbus made two drastic turns then suddenly lost altitude before falling off the radar.
Kammenos reported, “It turned 90 degrees left and then a 360-degree turn toward the right, dropping from 38,000 to 15,000 feet and then it was lost at about 10,000 feet.”
The plane was only 174 miles from the Egyptian coast at its last contact.
Many officials, including Greek Aviation officers, believe the crash an act of terrorism, at the time of publication. Estimates believe it went down near the Greek island of Crete.
French President François Hollande and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi have spoken on the phone and have agreed to closely cooperate within the next few days.
Crisis centers have been set up in Paris’s Charles De Gaulle Airport. Of those on the plane, 30 were Egyptian and 15 were French.
Greek authorities have found floating wreckage, including two life jackets, near the Greek island of Karpathos.
Search and rescue missions have been put into action.
France has extended their State of Emergency for an additional two months after this attack. This has been carried out since the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, where the Islamic State claimed responsibility for killing 130 people.
Tourism is a large facet in the French economy. Many people worldwide visit France annually, and Paris and its surrounding areas were rated the world’s number one tourist destination in 2013.