CAIRO: A Russian passenger plane with 224 people on board crashed in a mountainous part of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, leaving no survivors, officials said. The chartered plane had taken off from the south Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh bound for Saint Petersburg and lost contact with air traffic control 23 minutes later before crashing in the restive peninsula.

Victor Sorochenko, the head of Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee, said it was too early to conclude what caused the crash on Saturday, October 31. He told reporters debris was found across a 20sq km-wide area of Sinai. So far 163 bodies have been found. The plane’s black boxes have been found and sent for analysis, officials said.

Mr Sorochenko spoke after visiting the site of the debris, near the village of Hasana. The head of Russia’s Air Transport Agency, Aleksandr Neradko, said that “all signs attest to the fact that the aircraft disintegrated in the air at a high altitude”.

Russian airliner 'broke up in mid-air'