A Russian aircraft carrying 224 people, including 17 children, crashed Saturday in a remote mountainous region in the Sinai Peninsula about 20 minutes after taking off from a Red Sea resort popular with Russian tourists, the Egyptian government says. There were no survivors, according to the Russian Embassy in Cairo. The chairman of the state company that runs Egypt's civilian airports says that, except for three Ukrainian passengers, everyone on board the St. Petersburg-bound flight from Sharm el-Sheikh was Russian. An Egyptian Cabinet statement said the passengers were 138 women, 62 men, and 17 children. It said the aircraft, an Airbus 321, was 18 years old. There were seven crew members.
Egyptian officials say military search and rescue teams found the wreckage in the Hassana area south of the city of el-Arish, an area in northern Sinai where Egyptian security forces are fighting a burgeoning Islamic militant insurgency led by a local ISIS affiliate. The Guardian reports that ISIS has claimed responsibility for bringing down the flight full of "Russian crusaders," though experts doubt the group's Sinai affiliate would have been able to do so. A security source tells Reuters that the plane crashed in a " vertical fashion" and it appears that a technical fault was to blame. The jet was operated by the airline Kogalymavia, which was investigated for safety violations last year, per the Guardian. (Read more Egypt stories.)