UK: Explosive may have caused Russian plane crash

Britain sends UK aviation experts to examine Sharm al-Sheikh airport, in suspicion bomb downed Russian airliner Saturday.

Cynthia Blank , | updated: 8:30 PM

Russian investigator at site of A320-200 crash
Russian investigator at site of A320-200 crash

Britain suggested Wednesday that the Russian airliner that crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula over the weekend may well have been brought down by an explosive device, in a dramatic revelation regarding the crash Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for.

"While the investigation is still ongoing we cannot say categorically why the Russian jet crashed," Prime Minister David Cameron's office said in a statement, according to Reuters.

"But as more information has come to light we have become concerned that the plane may well have been brought down by an explosive device," it added. 

As a precautionary step, the British government decided to postpone flights due to depart Sharm al-Sheikh for Britain on Wednesday pending a security assessment by UK aviation experts en route to Sinai. 

The British approximation comes a day after US intelligence officials dismissed the possibility that a surface-to-air missile downed the plane, saying the idea is "off the table."

One US official noted that, in Washington's estimation, what really downed the plane was a "flash or explosion" over the Sinai, adding that the plane disintegrated at a "very high altitude." 

Egypt's Civil Aviation Ministry, meanwhile, said Wednesday that investigators have confirmed the contents of one black box recovered from the plane, while the other - which contains the cockpit voice recorder - is still being examined after sustaining damage in the crash. 

"Consequently no further comment on the CVR can be made. Examination of parts on site is continuing," the ministry said in a statement. 

ISIS's so-called "Sinai Province" said it brought down the plane "in response to Russian air strikes that killed hundreds of Muslims on Syrian land," though this has been discounted by both Russian and Egyptian officials.

The Islamic State affiliated group attempted in an audio recording Wednesday to quell doubts over its role in the crash, asserting it would publish details of the "mission" on its own time. 

All 224 passengers and crew members were killed in the Saturday crash in Egypt.