Debris Found Near Suspected Crash Site of EgyptAir Plane

(Reuters) -
Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos speaks during a news conference on an EgyptAir plane that vanished from radar en route from Paris to Cairo, after exiting the Greek airspace, in Athens, Greece, May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Michalis Karagiannis
Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos speaks in Athens, Greece, during a news conference on the EgyptAir plane that vanished from radar en route from Paris to Cairo, Thursday. (Reuters/Michalis Karagiannis)

Debris has been found near the site where the missing EgyptAir aircraft is believed to have gone down.

On Thursday afternoon, Greek defense sources said that a Greek frigate searching for debris a discovered two large plastic floating objects in a sea area 230 miles south of the island of Crete on Thursday afternoon, Greek defense sources said.

The two objects appeared to be pieces of plastic in white and red. They were spotted close to an area where a transponder signal was emitted earlier, the sources said.

On Thursday evening, Egypt’s Civil Aviation ministry said in a statement that “floating material,” including life jackets and plastic items, have been found in the sea off the Greek island of Karpathos, close to the suspected site of the plane crash.

The ministry said that it is coordinating with Greek counterparts to examine what they have found and to determine whether the items could be part of the debris from the plane that crashed before dawn on Thursday.

Earlier, the head of Russia’s FSB security service Alexander Bortnikov said that the crash was “in all likelihood” caused by a terrorist act, the RIA news agency quoted him as saying.

Bortnikov, who was speaking in Minsk, Belarus, called on Russia’s European partners to work together to identify those behind the downing of the plane. He did not say what evidence he had that the crash was terrorism-related.