Wreckage From Missing EgyptAir Flight MS804 Might've Been Found

Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos said the plane made two sharp turns and dropped more than 25,000ft before plunging into the Mediterranean Sea.

Thirty Egyptians, 15 French, two Iraqis, a Briton, a Belgian, Kuwaiti, Saudi, Sudanese, Chadian, Algerian, Portuguese and Canadian are among the passengers.

Greek air traffic authorities said the flight appeared normal when they were about to hand the plane over to their Egyptian counterparts.

The highest official to speculate about what could have caused the sudden crash was French President Francois Hollande.

He added: "But at this stage we should express our solidarity to the families and to find out the cause of the catastrophe".

Egypt's civil aviation minister is setting a press conference at Cairo airport at 11:30 GMT.

1024: Hollande says "no hypothesis is ruled out or favoured".

All 66 people aboard died the overnight Paris-to-Cairo flight, which lost radar contact after 3 a.m. local time in Egypt (0100 UTC).

The pilots did not make contact when they left Greek airspace as is customary, the country's aviation authority said.

"It turned 90 degrees left and then a 360 degree turn toward the right, dropping from 38,000 to 15,000 feet and then it was lost at about 10,000 feet", Mr Kammeno said. They were spotted close to an area where a transponder signal was emitted earlier, the sources said.

"We risk being confronted with a new form of attack: a terrorist campaign characterised by leaving explosive devices in places where big crowds gather, multiplying this type of action to create a climate of panic", Calver warned at the time.

A relative of the victims of the EgyptAir flight 804 crash is escorted at Charles de Gaulle Airport outside of Paris on Thursday.

UPDATE May 19, 2016: Later in the day, wreckage was found off the coast of the Greek island, Karpathos.

However, an official at the Greek Ministry of Maritime Affairs, which is leading the search operation on the Greek side, said that searchers "have indeed located debris, and are trying to identify if it is coming from the plane - it has not been ruled out".

An EgyptAir statement on Thursday afternoon said the Airbus A320 disappeared while travelling at 37,000 feet.

The jet was carrying 56 passengers, seven crew members and three security officers. He also spoke with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi by telephone and agreed to "closely cooperate to establish as soon as possible the circumstances" surrounding the disaster, according to a statement.

In Cairo, Egyptian aviation Minister Sherif Fathy said France would be responsible for any security lapse if terrorism is found to be the cause of the crash.

EgyptAir Flight MS804 disappeared from radar over the Mediterranean Sea at 2.30am local time (1030 AEST) on Thursday, about 45 minutes before it was expected at Cairo airport.

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said it was too early to rule out any explanation for the crash, including an attack like the one blamed for bringing down a Russian airliner over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula past year. The pilot had 6,000 flight hours.

But that conflicts with a report from a senior Greek air safety official who said the debris was found too far in the Mediterranean to be from the plane.

Russian authorities said that the incident in which 224 people died was claimed by the terrorist group Islamic State.

Russian Federation and Western governments have said the Metrojet plane that crashed on October 31 was probably brought down by a bomb, and the Islamic State militant group said it had smuggled an explosive device on board. A man who admitted to the hijacking and is described by Cypriot authorities as "psychologically unstable" is in custody in Cyprus.