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Noise In Last Second Of Doomed Russian Plane Recorder

There are currently some 80,000 Russian holidaymakers in Egyptian Red Sea resorts.
There are currently some 80,000 Russian holidaymakers in Egyptian Red Sea resorts.

The head of an investigation committee says a noise can be heard in the last second of the cockpit voice recording from the Russian jet which crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula one week ago.

But Ayman el-Muqadem said on November 7 that it was too soon to determine what caused the plane to break up in mid-flight as experts were still gathering information.

U.S. and British officials have cited intelligence reports as indicating that the October 31 flight from the Sinai resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg was brought down by a bomb on board. All 224 people onboard, most of them Russian tourists, were killed.

An Islamic State affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula said it brought the plane down, without offering proof.

Muqadem said the crash occurred 23 minutes into the flight, when the auto-pilot was still engaged, and debris were scattered over a wide area extending for 13 kilometers "which is consistent with an in-flight break-up."

Egyptian airport and security officials told The Associated Press on November 7 that authorities were questioning airport staff and ground crew who worked on the plane and had placed some employees under surveillance.

Also on November 7, Egypt's foreign minister complained that Western governments had not sufficiently helped Egypt in its war on terrorism.

Egypt's past calls for assistance and coordination on terrorism issues from "the countries that are now facing the danger" had not been dealt with seriously, Sameh Shoukry told a news conference in Cairo. "European countries did not give us the cooperation we are hoping for," he said.

Shoukry also said countries that have suspended flights to Sharm el-Sheikh did not share the intelligence that drove their decisions with Cairo. Egypt "expected that the information available would be communicated to us instead of being broadcast" in the media, he said.

Russia announced on November 6 it was suspending flights to all of Egypt, joining the United Kingdom and Ireland, which had stopped flights to Sharm el-Sheikh. At least a half-dozen Western European governments told their citizens not to travel there.

Empty charter planes have been flying to Sharm el-Sheikh to bring home stranded Russian and British tourists. Passengers were banned from checking in luggage — reflecting an apparent concern about security and luggage-screening procedures at the airport.

With reporting by AP and Reuters
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