Mostly French Onboard Egyptian Crashed Plane

MOSCOW, January 3rd, 2004 (RIA Novosti) – The aircraft with chiefly French tourists onboard fell into the Red Sea near the Egyptian resort Sharm-el-Sheikh in Sinai on Saturday morning, reported the Egyptian MENA agency. The aircraft, Boeing 737, operated by the Egyptian private Flash Airlines was making a charter flight from Sharm-el-Sheikh to Cairo. A few minutes after the takeoff the plane disappeared from radar screens.

"At present the Egyptian side is specifying the citizenship of the passengers," Yakovenko added.

"It is now clear that the majority of passengers were French, plus there were some Egyptians onboard the jet too," said Yakovenko.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Ministry of Egypt has quoted the MENA agency that there were 148 people onboard the crashed Boeing-737, including 135 passengers, six crewmembers, and seven members of the Italian crew who piloted the plane on the way from Milan (Italy) to Sharm-el-Sheikh.

Putin Condoles With Egyptian President Over Air Crash

MOSCOW, January 3rd, 2003 (RIA Novosti correspondent) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a telegram of condolences to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in view of the crash of an Egyptian passenger jet into the Red Sea, which left many people dead, the press service of the Russian president reported.

"Accept my deepest condolences in view of the tragic air crash. I want to express my sincerest compassion to the near and dear of the victims," the telegram runs.