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Russian civilian plane crashes in Sinai: Egypt PM

A Russian airliner crashed on Saturday in Egypt's restive Sinai Peninsula, the office of the prime minister said in a statement.

A "Russian civilian plane... crashed in the central Sinai," the office of Prime Minister Sharif Ismail said in a statement.

A senior aviation official said it was a charter flight operated by a Russian company and had on board 217 passengers and seven crew members.

Communication with the aircraft was lost, he added. 

Sergei Lzvolsky, an official with the Russian aviation agency Rosaviatsia told Interfax news agency that the plane had departed Egypt's Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh at 5:51 am local time (03:51 GMT).

He said the aircraft did not make contact as expected with air traffic controllers in Cyprus, and "since then the plane has not made contact and has not appeared on radars".

"Prime Minister (Ismail) is expected to meet the concerned ministries and competent authorities to follow up on the accident of the Russian civilian plane that fell in central Sinai," Egyptian premier's office said. (AFP)

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