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RIP Metrojet Flight 7K9268

22.11.2015 08:59 EST
Metrojet Flight 9268 (IATA: 7K9268, ICAO: KGL9268) was an international chartered passenger flight, operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia (branded as Metrojet), which disintegrated above the northern Sinai on 31 October 2015 at 06:13 local time EST (04:13 UTC) following its departure from Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport, Egypt, en route to Pulkovo Airport, Saint Petersburg, Russia. The aircraft, an Airbus A321-231, was carrying 217 passengers and seven crew members. Of those aboard, mostly tourists, there were 219 Russians, four Ukrainians, and one Belarusian. The possibility that a bomb was put on the plane at Sharm el-Sheikh led several countries to suspend flights to that airport. With its death toll of 224 people, the crash of Flight 9268 is the deadliest both in the history of Russian aviation and within Egyptian territory. It is also the deadliest air crash involving an aircraft from the Airbus A320 family, the deadliest plane crash of 2015 to date, and the deadliest aircraft bombing since Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988. Shortly after the crash, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)'s Sinai Branch, previously known as Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, claimed responsibility for the incident, which occurred in the vicinity of the Sinai insurgency. ISIL claimed responsibility on Twitter, on video, and in a statement by Abu Osama al-Masri, the leader of the group's Sinai branch. ISIL posted pictures of what it said was the bomb in Dabiq, its online magazine. By 4 November 2015, British and American authorities suspected that a bomb was responsible for the crash. On 8 November 2015, an anonymous member of the Egyptian investigation team said the investigators were "90 percent sure" that the jet was brought down by a bomb. Lead investigator Ayman al-Muqaddam said that other possible causes of the crash included a fuel explosion, metal fatigue, and lithium batteries overheating. The Russian Federal Security Service announced on 17 November that they were sure that it was a terrorist attack, caused by an improvised bomb containing the equivalent of up to 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) of TNT that detonated during the flight. The Russians said they had found explosive residue as evidence.

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