Russia: Bodies of 33 Egypt plane crash victims identified
Nov.4, Moscow: The number of plane crash victims identified by Russian families rose to 33 on Wednesday. The rescue teams in Egypt searched the Sinai desert for more remains and parts of the plane's fuselage.
The Metrojet Airbus A321-200 carrying Russian vacationers from Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt back to Russia's second-largest city of St. Petersburg crashed over the Sinai Peninsula early Saturday, killing all 224 people on board.
Only one body has been released to a Russian family for burial so far. Relatives have identified 33 bodies and the paperwork is close to ready on 22 of those, meaning the families should get the bodies shortly, Igor Albin, deputy governor of St. Petersburg, said in a televised conference call.
Russian and Egyptian rescue workers were still scouring the desert after expanding their search area to 40 square kilometers (15 square miles) in the Sinai, local media reported.
The Russian state television channel Rossiya-24 reported the plane's tail was found 5 kilometers (3 miles) away from the rest of the wreckage.
Russian officials said that the plane broke up in the air 23 minutes after takeoff after reaching an altitude of 31,000 feet. But they have refrained from announcing the cause of the crash, citing the ongoing investigation.
The Oslo Times