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WASHINGTON, May 19 — The US Navy has deployed a long range P-3 Orion surveillance plane to help search for the wreckage of the EgyptAir flight that crashed into the Mediterranean today, officials said.
“US Commander Sixth Fleet is working with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Greece and the US Defence Attache in Athens, Greece to provide US Navy P-3 Orion support in the search of the missing Egyptian aircraft,” the Navy said in a statement.
The surveillance plane had been sent from Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily.
Separately, the White House said President Barack Obama is being updated by counter-terrorism staff on investigations into what happened to the Airbus A320 that crashed between Paris and Cairo.
“The president asked to be updated throughout the day as the situation warrants, and directed administration officials to reach out to their international counterparts to offer support and assistance,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said.
He said Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco had already briefed Obama.
The airliner crashed with 66 people on board and authorities are trying to determine if it was brought down by mechanical failure or an act of terror.
The Airbus A320 fell 22,000 feet (6,705 metres) and swerved sharply twice in Egyptian airspace before it disappeared from radar screens, Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos said. — AFP