The nature of passengers’ injuries from the Russian jet that crashed in Egypt’s Sinai on Saturday may indicate that an explosion took place aboard before the plane hit the ground, an Egyptian doctor who examined the bodies said, Sputnik news agency reported.
"A large number of body parts may indicate that a powerful explosion took place aboard the plane before it hit the ground,"an Egyptian forensic expert told the agency.
A DNA analysis would be required to identify the victims of the Russian A321 airliner crash in Egypt, the expert added.
Earlier, Russian tabloid LifeNews claimed to have obtained the results of a forensic medical examination that allegedly stated that the passengers “in the tail section of the liner died because of so-called blast injuries.”
According to the broadcaster, they were diagnosed with burns of over 90 percent, with experts noting particles of metal and aircraft covering piercing the bodies of the deceased.
“It’s too early to say categorically whether or not the plane broke up in the air. It’s difficult to tell what the injuries would have been if there was an explosion onboard. And I think it’s difficult to tell how it would be different to injuries sustained when the bodies impacted the ground,” Padhra said.
The explosion of the engine could have caused the Russian plane crash as it went down right after finishing the climbing stage, when “the engines are under the most stress.”
Dr. Padhra also mentioned another theory, which has been discussed as widely as others, saying that a midair collision could have interrupted the Airbus A321’s flight.
There is a “possibility that the aircraft could have collided with some other object – I’m thinking, in particular, unmanned aerial vehicles or drones may have been operated in that area to gather intelligence by different authorities… We know it was a conflict area. We know that drones can achieve that kind of altitude,” he said.
All 224 people aboard were killed, making it the deadliest civilian aircraft disaster in Russian and Soviet history.
Since the crash on October 31, several possible causes of the Sinai tragedy were discussed by experts.
An explosion of a bomb aboard the plane was mentioned as another possible cause of the crash.
US global intelligence company Stratfor said that Egyptian security personnel often take bribes for allowing passengers to avoid checks, with cargo security screenings in the country also not being strict enough.
Russian and US air forces have staged joint drills to practice air safety measures in the skies over Syria, according to the Russian General Staff, which also reported that its military has begun to coordinate with Syria’s moderate opposition forces.
In the course of the drills, both the air crews and ground services of Russian and US forces drilled procedures aimed at avoiding problems in case the two countries’ military aircraft find themselves in dangerous proximity in Syria’s skies, Russian General Staff spokesman Colonel General Andrey Kartapolov said on Tuesday.
“The exercises took place at 11:00 Moscow time (08:00 GMT) [on Tuesday],” he added.
The joint drills come after Moscow and Washington signed a “deconfliction” memorandum last week to ensure air safety over Syria.
Meanwhile, Pentagon spokesperson Captain Jeff Davis has denied that the action was a joint exercise, instead calling it a “communications test.”
“The test was conducted. This test was a prudent measure solely to ensure that, in the event coalition aircraft encounter a Russian aircraft during operations in Syria, one of the established and agreed upon modes of communication in the agreement functioned,” Davis said in a statement.
The spokesperson stressed that Russian-US military cooperation is still formally on hold.
In another development on Tuesday, Russian air forces made 12 sorties and hit 24 terrorist facilities at coordinates received from Syrian opposition forces.
Russian jets have struck terrorist targets “near Tadmor, Deir ez-Zor, Itria and east of Aleppo, with coordinates of all these targets being given to us by the representatives of the opposition,” Kartapolov told a press-conference.
The Colonel-General also confirmed that the Russian military has been in communication with the leaders and commanders of some Syrian moderate opposition groups, noting that Russia had repeatedly said it was ready to“cooperate with all Syrian patriotic forces fighting Islamic State terrorists, Al Nusra Front and other terrorist groups."
[This one comes with the usual caveats, disclaimers, etc. But it is interesting, and admittedly "conspiracy theory" so take with a grain of salt]
By now you’ve probably seen the news on this as its been repeated daily in the 24-hour media cycle. In the midst of everything else going on in the Middle East right now, a Russian Metrojet-operated Airbus A321 just so happened to crash in Egypt on Saturday, killing all 224 passengers on board.
We are told the plane quietly disappeared from radar screens 23 minutes after takeoff.
With bodies being found miles from the crash site, we are told the plane broke apart, essentially disintegrating in midair, before hitting the ground.
We are told this occurred because of neither equipment failure or pilot error.
“The only possible explanation could be an external impact on the airplane,” Metrojet’s Deputy Director Alexander Smirnov told a Moscow news conference.
But… we are told flight recorders say the jet was not struck from outside.
We are told the local ISIS affiliate has taken responsibility for shooting it down.
We are told officials dismiss this possibility as they don’t have the capability.
Besides, we are also told that satellites do not show a missile. Anywhere.
We are told the satellite does show a midair heat flash: