- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 7, 2015

The head of Egypt’s commission investigating last week’s crash of a Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula said Saturday that a noise was heard in the final second of the cockpit voice recording on the Metrojet.

Ayman al-Muqaddam, the head of Egypt’s investigation, said the sound erupted just before Metrojet Flight 9268 broke apart in the air 23 minutes and 14 seconds after taking off from the Sharm el-Sheikh airport, CNN reported.

He said the last information on the plane’s flight data recorder shows that it was traveling at 281 knots, with the autopilot engaged.

All 224 people aboard the Russian passenger jet were killed in the crash.

U.S. and British officials have speculated that the jet may have been downed by a bomb, but Mr. al-Muqaddam maintained that Egyptian authorities have not reached any conclusions as to what caused the crash.

“All the scenarios are out on the table,” he said, CNN reported. “We don’t know what happened exactly.”

European investigators who analyzed the two flight recorders said the crash was not an accident, CNN affiliate France 2 reported.

Those investigators said the cockpit voice recorder indicates an explosion and the flight data recorder confirms the explosion was not accidental and there were no signs of mechanical malfunction during the initial part of the flight.

U.S. and British intelligence suggests a bomb may have been placed on the plane by an Islamic State affiliate, according to news reports. The terrorist group claimed responsibility on social media immediately after the crash.

Russian officials have been skeptical of the group’s claims, but President Vladimir Putin joined the United Kingdom on Friday in suspending air service to the Red Sea resort area.



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