The first bodies from a plane crash in Egypt in which all 224 passengers, most of them Russians, died over the weekend arrived in St Petersburg early on Monday morning aboard a Russian government plane.
The crashed Airbus A321 plane, operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia, was carrying holidaymakers from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg when it crashed in the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday morning, Reuters reported.
Russian officials have said the plane likely broke up in mid-air but have stressed that it is too early to draw conclusions from this. President Vladimir Putin declared Sunday a national day of mourning.
Russian news agencies reported that a first Il-76 Emergency Situations Ministry plane flew into St Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport a little before 6:00am local time, carrying 144 bodies.
The ministry said the next plane carrying bodies would leave Cairo on Monday evening for St Petersburg. On arrival, the first bodies were loaded onto stretchers and carried into a large white lorry waiting on the runway at Pulkovo Airport.