Egypt's prime minister's office confirmed in a cabinet statement that a Russian passenger plane crashed in central Sinai, adding that an operations room has been set up to monitor the rescue operations.
Sources said the passenger plane was mainly carrying Russian tourists and that a search was underway.
The source said the aircraft was an Airbus A-321 jet, had 217 passengers and seven crew members on board, and was operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia.
Meanwhile, Health Ministry Undersecretary in North Sinai Tarek Khater told Ahram Online that 15 ambulances are currently heading to central Sinai's Al-Hasana City. Khater said that an "emergency status" was declared.
Egyptian air traffic control lost contact with the civilian airliner shortly after it took off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to head to Russia's St Petersburg, aviation sources said on Saturday.
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