In a preliminary report released on Monday, Egyptian investigators say they have found no evidence that a Russian passenger plane flying over the Sinai was downed by terrorist or criminal action.
NPR’s Leila Fadel filed this report for our Newscast unit:
“The Russians say it was a bomb. The U.S. and Britain also say it was likely a bomb. And an affiliate of the self-proclaimed Islamic State claims it brought down the plane of mostly tourists that had just left the resort town of Sharm el Sheikh.
“But Egypt has never acknowledged that could be the case. The preliminary report released today says there is no evidence of a bomb and that the team would continue to investigate. Egypt’s government has made similar repeated statements since the crash.
“A bomb on a plane of mostly Russian tourists traveling from a beach destination would be detrimental to the already struggling tourism industry. Since the plane crash tourism has already dropped off sharply in Sharm el Sheikh.”
The crash of the Airbus 321-200 this past October left 224 people dead.
In November, the Russian government said it had “unequivocally” determined the plane was downed by terrorists, because it had found “traces of foreign explosives” in the wreckage.