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Search Intensifies For Missing EgyptAir Plane

The British armed forces have join France, Greece and Egypt in searching for wreckage after an EgyptAir flight disappeared over the Mediterranean yesterday.

Flight MS804 was flying from Paris to Cairo with 66 passengers and crew when it vanished from radar screens and radio contact. Greece says the aircraft made two sharp turns while plunging more than 25,000ft (7,620m) into the sea.

Egypt has said it is more likely the plane was brought down by a terror attack than a technical fault, although that cannot yet be confirmed.

The majority of passengers on the flight were from Egypt and France, with one Briton also named as Richard Osman.

Initial reports late on Thursday that wreckage had been discovered later proved unfounded, and the search now continues for any signs of the aircraft.

Items including life jackets were discovered near the suspected sight of the crash, but Greek officials said they did not belong to the missing Airbus A320.

France is now focussing on whether a security breach at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport allowed an extremist to access the flight and plant a bomb. Security has already been tight at the airport following last November’s Paris terror attacks, with some airport staff having security clearance revoked over fears they had been radicalised.

Lawyer Eric Moucay told the BBC Islamists had tried to recruit staff at the airport: “That is clear. There are people who are being radicalised in some of the trade unions etc. The authorities have their work cut out with this problem.”

Speaking about the plane’s last movements and possible location yesterday, Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos said: “The picture we have at the moment on the accident as it emerges from the Greek air force operations centre is that the aircraft was approximately 10-15 miles inside the Egyptian FIR [flight information region] and at an altitude of 37,000 feet.

“It turned 90 degrees left and then a 360-degree turn toward the right, dropping from 37,000 to 15,000 feet and then it was lost at about 10,000 feet.”

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