Britain joins sea search for missing EgyptAir jet


The search for a missing EgyptAir plane that disappeared over the Mediterranean is continuing for a second day as British military units joined the operation.

EgyptAir flight MS804 - an Airbus A320 with 56 passengers and 10 crew members on board - went down about halfway between the Greek island of Crete and Egypt's coastline, or around 175 miles offshore, after take-off from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, en route to Cairo.

The Briton on board, Richard Osman, a father of two, was described by his younger brother Alastair as a workaholic and a very admirable person who "never deviated from the straight path".

An EgyptAir plane on the tarmac at Charles de Gaulle Airport
(Michel Euler/AP/PA)

On Thursday, EgyptAir reported that wreckage from the plane, including life jackets, had been found near the Greek island of Karpathos by the Greek authorities.

But EgyptAir's vice chairman Ahmed Adel later told CNN that the items were not from flight MS804.

He said: "We stand corrected on finding the wreckage because what we identified is not a part of our plane. So the search and rescue is still going on."

EgyptAir Airbus flying from Cairo to Charles de Gaulle
(Christophe Ena/AP/PA)

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said the Royal Fleet Auxiliary landing ship Lyme Bay and an RAF C130 Hercules aircraft had joined the search efforts.

Before it disappeared from radar screens at around 2.45am Cairo time (12.45am GMT), the plane spun all the way around and suddenly lost altitude.

Egyptian and Russian officials said it may have been brought down by terrorists, and there are no signs of survivors.

An Australian government official said one of the passengers on the missing flight held dual Australian-British nationality.

Foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop did not give any more details, including whether or not the passenger referred to was Osman - so far the only Briton identified as being on board.

She said: "We are working closely with UK authorities, which are taking the lead in the provision of consular assistance to the man's family."