EgyptAir flight disappears from radar

Last updated: 5/19/2016 1:39 AM EDT

[PeterPaul.ca] — An EgyptAir jetliner flying between Paris and Cairo disappeared from radar early Thursday and has yet to be located, the airline announced via Twitter. The plane has been missing for about five hours at press time and was last tracked above the Mediterranean Sea.

Flight MS804 departed Paris at 11:09 PM local time and disappeared about 10 minutes outside Egyptian airspace, the airline said. The flight was cruising at 37,000 feet when air traffic controllers suddenly lost radar contact at 2:45 AM local time, the airline added.

Flight tracking data from flightaware.com shows the flight being operated by a Boeing 737-800 but the airline said otherwise. There were conflicting media reports as to what type of jet had gone missing but EgyptAir confirmed that the missing flight was operated using an Airbus A320 jet. It is unclear if this is an error or whether the plane was switched just prior to takeoff.

There were 66 people on the plane. In a posting on Facebook, the airline said 56 passengers were on board including one child and two infants. There were also three security officials and seven crew members on board, the posting said. It is unclear why they were three security officials on the flight and whether there were any direct threats made against it before takeoff.

The airline said the captain in command of flight 804 had 6,275 flight hours including 2,101 hours on the A320. The co-pilot has 2,766 flight hours on the A320–still considered one of the most technologically-advanced passenger jets ever built. It was the first passenger jet to feature fly-by-wire technology which helped lighten the workload in the cockpit.

In a statement on Twitter, Airbus said they were aware of reports that MS804 had gone missing. “We are aware of media reports. At this time, we have no further details but we will provide further information when available.”

Family members can get the latest information by calling 080077770000 from Egypt or + 202 25989320 from outside Egypt.

More soon.

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