ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN – Flowers and candles outside the Russian Embassy in Astana, the capitol of Kazakhstan, as people pay their respects for the 224 people who died in the Russian Metrojet crash in Egypt Saturday.
Flight 9268 broke apart over the Sinai Peninsula on its way from Sharm El Sheikh to St. Petersburg, Russia.
Some of the bodies arrived in St. Petersburg as investigators sift through clues and sort out conflicting theories.
“The most important thing right now is to do the investigation with international standards and find out what’s the reason of this tragedy,” said Russian prime minister Dimitriy Medvedev.
Air traffic controllers apparently did not receive distress calls before it disappeared from radar, about 20 minutes into its flight.
The former wife of the co-pilot said he had concerns about the condition of the plane.
And, the executive director of Russian’s Interstate Aviation Committee said the plane’s fuselage disintegrated, scattering debris over an 8-square mile area.
The website FlightRadar24, which tracks aircraft around the world, says data from the plane suggests sharp changes in altitude and a dramatic decrease in ground speed before the signal went out.
Shortly after the crash, ISIS, or ISIL as it’s also known, claimed it brought down the plane, but didn’t say how.
“Well we don’t have any direct evidence of any terrorist involvement yet,” said James Clapper, National Intelligence director. “ISIL, in a tweet, claimed responsibility for it, and there is a very aggressive ISIL chapter in the Sinai.”
Investigators now have the plane’s black boxes that will help provide a picture of what happened during the flight’s final moments.
A lot of people are waiting for the right answer, from government officials fighting terrorists, to airplane executives concerned about their reputations, to families who want to know exactly what happened, and why.