CAIRO (AP) — The latest developments after Saturday's crash of a Russian passenger plane in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board. (All times local).
Two U.S. officials say American satellite systems detected infrared activity, or heat, around a Russian passenger plane before it hit the ground in Egypt, killing all 224 on board.
One of the officials said Tuesday that they have ruled out a missile being the cause because neither a launch nor an engine burn had been detected. The official said the activity could mean many things, including that a plane engine exploded because of a malfunction or a bomb blast.
Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the information publicly.
Metrojet's Airbus A321-200 was en route from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to St. Petersburg when it crashed over the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday. The overwhelming majority of the passengers were Russian holidaymakers flying home.
Egypt's civil aviation minister said the joint investigation committee will start examining the data from the black boxes retrieved from the crash site.
--By Lolita C. Baldor and Ken Dilanian in Washington.
Egypt's Civil Aviation Minister Hossam Kamal says the joint investigation committee probing the Russian plane crash last weekend will start examining the data from the black boxes retrieved from the crash site in the Sinai Peninsula.
Kamal says the committee — which includes Egyptian and Russian experts as well as representatives from Ireland, where the Metrojet's Airbus A321-200 was registered — will conclude its last field inspection at the crash site by the end of the day Tuesday and start working on the black boxes.
Kamal says it "will take some time" to produce the final report and that the committee "has all the tools and experts to deal with the investigation."
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi says the security situation in the Sinai Peninsula is under "full control" and that claims by the Islamic State group that it downed a Russian passenger plane were "propaganda" aimed at damaging the country's image.
In an interview with the BBC released Tuesday, el-Sissi also reiterated his assertion that the cause of the crash may not be known for months and that until then, the causes should not be speculated on.
Islamic State militants said on the day of the crash that they had "brought down" the Russian plane to avenge those killed as a result of Moscow's recent air campaign in Syria, launched in support of IS adversary President Bashar Assad.
But the group did not provide any evidence to back up its claim, and militants in northern Sinai have not to date shot down commercial airliners or fighter jets.
The United States Embassy in Cairo has instructed its staff not to travel anywhere in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula as a "precautionary measure," pending the outcome of the investigation into the crash of a Russian passenger jet.
In its statement, emailed late Monday, the embassy says it will issue another message when the security measure is lifted.
The Russian jet, flying from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg, crashed over the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, killing all 224 people onboard.
The cause of the crash is not known. Mystery and confusion surrounds the flight's final moments and speculation includes a technical problem, structural failure, fire, bomb or an attack by Islamic militants on the ground.
A deputy governor of St. Petersburg says the first nine bodies of the victims of Saturday's plane crash over Egypt have been identified.
Russian news agencies on Tuesday quoted Igor Albin as saying that that the families of the victims identified the bodies.
The Russian jet, flying from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg crashed over the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, killing all 224 people onboard. Most of the passengers were from St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city.
Albin said the identification could take several weeks.