The EgyptAir flight, heading from Paris to Cairo, disappeared from radar. It contains 66 people, according to one report. Earlier, 69 was mentioned.
No remains have been recovered yet.
The aircraft involved was an Airbus A320-232, registration SU-GCC, msn 2088. Its first flight was on 25 July 2003 and it was delivered to EgyptAir on 3 November 2003. Routine maintenance checks on the plane were done Wednesday in Cairo, before it left for Paris, an airline official said. The flight was the aircraft's fifth of the day, having flown from Asmara International Airport, Eritrea to Cairo; Cairo to Tunis–Carthage International Airport, Tunisia and back; and Cairo to Paris.
A distress signal was detected in the general vicinity where the flight disappeared, the airline official said. The signal was detected at 4:26 a.m. -- about 2 hours after the jet vanished. He said the distress signal could have come from another vessel in the Mediterranean. But the Egyptian armed forces stressed that they had not received a distress call.
Greek ministry source said authorities were investigating an account from the captain of a merchant ship who reported a ‘flame in the sky’ some 130 nautical miles south of the island of [Warpaths] - (every time I write Karpathos, it gets autocorrected to Warpaths).
The island of Karpathos was in ancient and medieval times closely connected with Rhodes. Rhodes' nickname is The Island of the Knights, named after the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who once conquered the land. Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes has been declared a World Heritage Site. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
The Karpathians sided with Sparta in the Peloponnesian War in 431 BC and lost their independence to Rhodes in 400 BC. In 42 BC the island fell to Rome. After the division of the Roman Empire in 395 AD, the island became part of the Byzantine Empire.
Of its Christian bishops, the names are known of Olympius, who was a supporter of Nestorius, Zoticus (in 518), Mennas (in 553), Ioannes, Leo (in 787), and Philippus (in 879). In the 14th century the island was a see of the Latin Church, four of whose bishops bore the name Nicolaus. No longer a residential bishopric, Karpathos (in Latin Carpathus) is today listed by the Catholic Church as an archiepiscopal titular see.
In 1304, Karpathos was given as fief to the Genoese corsairs Andrea and Lodovico Moresco, but in 1306 it fell to Andrea Cornaro, a member of the Venetian Cornaro family. The Cornaro controlled Karpathos until 1538, when it passed into the possession of the Ottoman Turks.
During the Greek War of Independence between 1821–22, the island rebelled, but afterwards it fell again under the Ottoman rule. In 1835 Sultan Mahmud II conceded to the island the privilege of the Maktu tax system, that is, the tax was calculated as an annual lump sum, and not on an household basis. The Ottoman rule ended on May 12, 1912, when the Italians occupied the island, together with the whole Dodecanese, during the Italo-Turkish War of 1911-12. On that day, sailors from the Regia Marina ship Vittorio Emanuele and the destroyer Alpino landed in Karpathos. With the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923 Karpathos joined the other islands of the Dodecanese in the Italian possession of the Italian Aegean Islands, and was ceded by Italy to Greece with the Paris Peace Treaties of 1947. The island formally joined the Kingdom of Greece on 7 March 1948, together with the other Dodecanese islands.
Due to the economic problems after World War II, numerous Karpathians emigrated to the U.S. eastern seaboard cities; Karpathos today has a significant Greek-American constituency who have returned to their island and invested heavily. Inhabitants of the mountains to the north are more traditional.