Russia: Jet Broke Up Mid-Air
But investigator says it's too early to know what caused crash that killed 224
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2015 9:00 AM CST
The Russian, left, and St. Petersburg city flags fly at half staff behind a statue of Nicholas I, as Russians observed a day of mourning Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
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(Newser) – Russian investigators are on the ground in Cairo looking into Saturday's catastrophic plane crash that killed all 224 people aboard, and a top aviation official says that the Airbus broke up mid-air. "The disintegration happened in the air and the fragments are strewn over a large area," said Interstate Aviation Committee chief Viktor Sorochenko, per AFP. Sorochenko says it's too early to conclude what caused the plane to break up over Egypt, but that assessment doesn't rule out ISIS' claim that it downed the Metrojet charter packed with Russian tourists. The wreckage is spread out over some 12 square miles, the BBC adds; 163 bodies have been recovered so far. Russia is observing a day of national mourning, reports the AP.