Egyptian officials reported that there are no survivors among the 224 people on board the Russian airplane, which crashed in the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday.

The Airbus A-321 operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia was conducting a scheduled charter flight between the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh and Saint Petersburg when it crashed shortly after take-off.

There were 217 passengers on board including 17 children and seven crew members.

According to Egyptian sources, 214 of the passengers were Russian citizens and three were Ukrainian.

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared November 1 a national day of mourning and expressed condolences to the families of the victims.

Putin has ordered Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to form a commission on investigating the crash.

Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov, who will head the commission, said that the country will actively participate in the investigation of the crash.

Wreckage of the airplane, which was completely destroyed, was found in the Hasana area.

According to media reports, the black boxes and some of the bodies of the passengers have been recovered.

The exact causes of the crash have not been established yet, but live flight tracking service Flight Radar 24 said that the airplane was descending at 1500 metres per minute before it went missing.

The airplane was flying at an altitude of 9450 metres when it disappeared from radars.

A spokeswoman of the airline said that the pilot had 12 000 hours of flying experience and the airplane was fully serviced.

Source