Egypt Investigates Airport Ground Crew

Russia is trying to bring 80,000 tourists home
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 7, 2015 8:00 AM CST
Egypt Investigates Airport Ground Crew
Passengers check monitors as flights to Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada appear as cancelled on a flight information board at Pulkovo airport outside St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015.    (Dmitry Lovetsky)

Egyptian airport and security officials say an investigation has been launched into any local staff and ground crew in Sharm el-Sheikh that came into contact with the downed Russian Metrojet flight. The officials tell the AP that authorities are questioning airport staff and have begun surveillance on those who worked on the Russian flight that crashed a week ago in the Sinai desert 23 minutes after taking off from the Red Sea resort, killing all 224 passengers and crew. The British government and US officials have said intelligence suggests the plane was downed by a bomb. British authorities are trying to bring home around 20,000 tourists stranded by a decision to suspend flights to Sharm el-Sheikh.

A top Russian official, meanwhile, says Egypt's military has taken control of registering departing passengers for flights out of the country. The statement by Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich came as Russian tourists scrambled to leave Egypt following a Russian decision to suspend passenger flights to the country due to security concerns. Russian airlines are sending empty planes to Egypt to bring home some of the estimated 80,000 Russians in Egypt, most of whom are in Red Sea resort areas. Egypt's foreign minister says European countries "did not give us the cooperation we (were) hoping for" and failed to provide Egyptian authorities the intelligence on which they based their decisions to suspend flights. (More Egypt stories.)

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