VIDEO – The flight Paris-Cairo would have fallen to 130 nautical miles from Karpathos. The people of this island, and the captain of a Greek vessel, claimed to have seen an explosion in the sky.
It’s 3:26, Thursday, May 19, when the Athens control tower is contacted by the Airbus pilot of the aircraft A 320 from Paris to Cairo that runs through Greek airspace . He then flies over the island of Kea, not far from the Hellenic Capital and his Egyptian driver, sharing with his Greek colleagues. “The tone is warm, we even thanked in Greek, saying Efharisto (thank you),” says Constantin Litzerakos, head of air traffic controllers, recalling that no distress message was received.
Eleven minutes later, while the EgyptAir plane has just entered Egyptian airspace, off the island of Karpathos, 280 km from the Egyptian coast, the signal disappears from radar . The Greeks launch the alert immediately and dispatch an aircraft type C 130, then a second and a frigate. Then everything follows. The French, Cypriot and Egyptian authorities are mobilizing quickly. The France immediately sends a Falcon 50 to lend reinforcements to research.
At midday, Panos Kamenos, Greek Defence Minister, gives evidence on what he calls a “crash”. All indications are that when the aircraft was at 37,000 feet, or nearly 11,200 meters, he “made a 90 degree turn to the left and right 360 degrees falling from 37,000 to 15,000 feet “before its signal disappears, the minister said at a press conference. The minister said that the plane had fallen to 130 nautical miles from Karpathos, while the inhabitants of the island, as well as the captain of a maritime vessel, flying the Greek flag and crossing, forward seeing an explosion in the sky. If nothing has been confirmed, the search continued late into the night.
But already in the late afternoon, an announcement of the Greek Ministry of Defense, said that “plastic objects and ropes” were found 50 nautical miles from the point where the signal the plane disappeared. Fifteen minutes later, the pilot of the Greek C130 mentions a colored plastic object silver is below the sea surface, while the C 295 Egyptian evoked a priori life jackets. Both had traveled all day in the region, 130 miles from the island of Karpathos and 200 miles from the island of Crete, as part of the Search and Rescue operation. Reinforcements from France, with a 50 Falcon, quickly arrived on American area and a maritime patrol aircraft. To recover these objects and analyze, the Greek navy sent ships in the area. In the evening, the vice president of EgyptAir announced on CNN the discovery of the wreck. “We found the wreck,” said Ahmed Adel to journalist Christiane Amanpour, without further details. Later in the evening, the Greek Committee of Aviation Safety belied the discovery of debris from the plane. “What was found, it was a piece of wood, and fabrics that do not belong to a plane,” he said.
The mobilization will resume in all cases at dawn Friday. At the same time, the Greek authorities are investigating the explosion of testimonies of the device in flight. Residents of the island of Karpathos as well as a commercial ship reportedly saw a fireball fall from the sky, early Thursday morning. A video circulating on the Internet showing this fall, but no one confirmed the link with the Airbus 320 currently. The Greek authorities do not want to exclude any track on the causes of the crash.