Updated 6 a.m. ET
EgyptAir says its flight 804 left Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport bound for Cairo at 5:09 p.m. ET with 66 persons on board. The airline said the Airbus 320 was flying at 37,000 flight when it disappeared from radar at 8:45 p.m. ET.
EgyptAir said an automated distress signal was received by the Egyptian armed forces about 90 minutes later, but in a Facebook post the Egyptian armed forces said that report was incorrect and that no signal had been received.
EgyptAir said there were 56 passengers aboard — including one child and two infants — three security personnel and seven crew members. It said 30 were Egyptian, 15 French and the remainder a variety of nationalities. No Americans were said to be on board.
An informed source at EGYPTAIR reported that EGYPTAIR Flight No MS 804 has lost communication with radar tracking system at 02:45 (CLT)
— EGYPTAIR (@EGYPTAIR) May 19, 2016
A search and rescue operation involving Egypt, Greece and France has been launched in the area where the plane disappeared from radar.
Greece’s civil aviation department head Kostas Litserakis said air traffic controllers spoke to the pilot of MS 904 over the island of Kea, in what is believed to have been the last communication with the plane.
“The pilot did not mention any problems,” Litserakis said, according to Reuters.
In March, an EgyptAir flight was hijacked and made to fly to Cyprus by a man who was later described as “psychologically unstable.” He remains in custody in Cyprus.
About Thursday’s missing plane, The Associated Press reports:
The incident renewed security concerns months after a Russian passenger plane was blown out of the sky over the Sinai Peninsula. The Russian plane crashed in Sinai on Oct. 31, killing all 224 people on board. Moscow said it was brought down by an explosive device, and a local branch of the extremist Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for planting it.