Russia to plunge into mourning for victims of the tragedy in Sinai

Russia to plunge into mourning for victims of the tragedy in Sinai

Russia to plunge into mourning for victims of the tragedy in Sinai

Tomorrow in Russia there will be a day of mourning for the victims of the crash of the ‘Kogalymavia’ liner that crashed this morning in the center of the Sinai Peninsula. The corresponding decree ‘On the declaration of mourning in connection with the plane crash that occurred in the Arab Republic of Egypt’ was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Television channels have changed the broadcasting schedule, excluding all entertainment programs and advertising. The ‘Match TV’ sports channel, the broadcast of which starts tomorrow, also refused to hold the celebratory program devoted to the launch of the channel.

The plane crash of the  Airbus A321 flying from Sharm El-Sheikh to St Petersburg became the largest catastrophe in the history of Russian aviation, according to updated figures there were 224 people on board, including 27 children and 7 crew members, including four citizens of Ukraine and a citizen of Belarus. Despite early afternoon data that rescuers heard cries that came from the wreckage, and information appeared in the media about four survivors, in the end it turned out that all those who were on board were killed.

The list of the victims is published on the website of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia. The bodies of the victims, according to the media reports, were taken to the Zenhom morgue in Cairo. Relatives of the victims, the chairman of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg Vyacheslav Makarov said, have started to give DNA samples for genetic testing, this procedure will be continued tomorrow.

The Identification of the victims will be held in St. Petersburg. "Genetic examination and identification of the bodies will take place at the forensic bureau in St. Petersburg, but the criminal case will be led by the IC,’’ TASS quotes  the vice-governor of the northern capital, Olga Kazanskaya, as saying.

Many heads of state, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who called for a thorough investigation of the causes of the tragedy, expressed their condolences.

As for the causes of the disaster, media released information that the plane was shot down by the anti-aircraft missile of the terrorists from the banned organization ‘Islamic State.’ However, the Russian Transport Ministry denied this information. "This information cannot be considered reliable," the head of Ministry Maxim Sokolov said. The Federal Air Transport Agency urged to refrain from discussing versions of the tragedy until reliable information appears.

"At the Federal Air Transport Agency there is currently no reason to believe that the cause of the accident was precisely technical failure or crew error, or any impact. While there is no reliable information about the circumstances of the accident, it does not make sense to put forward or discuss any version,‘’ the Interfax news agency leads the message of the Ministry.

At the moment, the site is cordoned off and journalists are not allowed beyond the fence. The investigation of the causes of the tragedy will be led by the IC of the Russian Federation. In addition, the Russian side will insist on the transfer of the plane’s wreckage and the flight recorders, which have already been delivered to the Prosecutor General of Egypt.

Also, the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) has formed a commission, whose members have flown to Cairo with the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia. It is headed by the executive director of the MAC, Victor Sorochenko.

"The MAC Commission is ready to participate in all stages of the technical investigation in accordance with the standards of the ICAO Annex 13 and to provide all the necessary professional and technical resources,‘’ the Interfax news agency leads the message of the organization.

The representative of the IAC will also participate in the work of the created today State Commission of the Russian Federation to investigate the crash.

The EMERCOM Minister Vladimir Puchkov, the Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov and the head of the Federal Air Transport Agency Alexander Neradko went to Cairo by plane. The same board will deliver to Egypt the representatives of the Ministry of Transport, the IC of RF, the MAC representatives and the representatives of other structures. Soon two EMERCOM aircraft will bring rescuers to Egypt.