Briton who died in EgyptAir crash was a 'kind and loving father'

Watching Developments At Charles de Gaulle Airport As EgyptAir Passenger Plane Vanishes From Radar

The Briton on board the EgyptAir flight that crashed was a kind and loving father - he had just welcomed a new baby less than a month ago.

Richard Osman, from Wales, was described by his younger brother Alastair as a workaholic and a very admirable person who "never deviated from the straight path".

He was a passenger on EgyptAir flight MS804 - an Airbus A320 with 56 passengers and 10 crew members heading from Paris to Cairo. The plane 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.

A relative of the victims of the EgyptAir flight 804 that crashed, reacts as she makes a phone call
A relative of one of the victims waits at Charles de Gaulle Airport (Michel Euler/AP)

The plane spun all the way around and suddenly lost altitude just before vanishing from radar screens at around 2.45am Cairo time (12.45am GMT).

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

Alastair Osman told ITV News: "Richard has two kids. Richard was a very kind person, loving person, very focused. He was a workaholic and never deviated from the straight path.

"A very admirable person and a lot of people admired him for his strength and values. He's a new dad. A dad for the second time now and I know that would have filled him with love and joy. It's funny how quickly things change."

alistair osman
Video grab taken from ITV News of Alastair Osman, the brother of Briton Richard Osman (ITV News/PA)

He told how his brother let him know of the birth of his second child just over three weeks ago.

"Two girls," Osman said. "He texted to tell me I'm an uncle for a second time on April 27."

Egyptian and Greek authorities in ships and planes searched the suspected crash area throughout the day for traces of the airliner or its victims, with more help on the way from the US, Britain and France.

But as night fell, they had yet to find any confirmed debris, at one point dismissing a reported sighting of life vests and other floating material.

Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi speaks at a press conference
Sherif Fathi said the disaster was still under investigation (Ahmed Abd el Fattah/AP)

Civil aviation minister Sherif Fathi said the disaster was still under investigation but the possibility it was a terror attack "is higher than the possibility of having a technical failure".

Alexander Bortnikov, chief of Russia's top domestic security agency, said: "In all likelihood it was a terror attack."

Asked about why Osman was on the flight, his brother told the news programme: "He would have been going to work I assume. I know he works in both Egypt and another country in Africa.

"I guess it was work related. He's been doing this for years in the gold mining industry. This was a regular trip. He used to do it at least once a month, year after year."

Police officers patrol at Charles de Gaulle airport (Christophe Ena/AP)

Alastair Osman, who said the family of four were all born in Carmarthen, said: "This is the reality of Isis and groups like that. It's indiscriminate. They don't think any of these people have family members, or a past, or a history of hopes and dreams. It's indiscriminate."

According to the Carmarthen Journal, Osman is 40 and is a former pupil at QE Cambria with family in the Swansea area.

The newspaper said Osman is the son of the late Fekri Osman, a founder of the Werndale private hospital in Bancyfelin.

His father moved to Wales from his native Egypt to work as a consultant in ear, nose and throat surgery in Singleton Hospital, Swansea, it said.

The Journal added that Osman was a qualified geologist and worked for exploration and research companies which involved him travelling widely around the world.

An EgyptAir Airbus A330-300 coming from Cairo rolls on the tarmac at Charles de Gaulle Airport
There was confusion over whether a distress signal had been sent by the Airbus A320 (Michel Euler/AP)

Among those on board were a child and two babies, EgyptAir said. The airline said the 56 passengers included 30 Egyptians, 15 French, two Iraqis and one each from Britain, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria, Canada, Belgium, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

The Airbus A320 was built in 2003 and was flying at 37,000ft, the airline said on Twitter.

It tweeted that the pilot had logged 6,275 flying hours, including 2,101 hours on the A320, and the co-pilot had logged 2,766 hours.

There was confusion over whether a distress signal had been sent by the Airbus A320.

Egypt's civil aviation authority said one was received at 4.26am local time, believed to be an automated message rather than one sent by the pilot.

However the Egyptian military later said it had received no distress message from the aircraft, in a statement on its website.

Meanwhile, French president Francois Hollande held an emergency meeting at the Elysee Palace.

He also spoke with Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi by telephone and agreed to "closely co-operate to establish as soon as possible the circumstances" surrounding the disaster, according to a statement.

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

French President Francois Hollande attends a national conference on Handicap at the Elysee Palace in Paris,
Francois Hollande held an emergency meeting at the Elysee Palace (Gonzalo Fuentes/AP)

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

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

"The government is working with our partners and allies to understand the reasons behind the flight's disappearance and presumed crash. It is too early to speculate on the cause of this incident.

"My thoughts are with the families and friends of those affected."

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