Two Armenians Among Victims of Russian Jet Crash

Armen Vishnev (left) and Leonid Mnatsakanov were among victims of the Russian plane crash Saturday
Armen Vishnev (left) and Leonid Mnatsakanov were among victims of the Russian plane crash Saturday

Armen Vishnev (left) and Leonid Mnatsakanov were among victims of the Russian plane crash Saturday

MOSCOW—While Armenia’s Foreign Ministry announced Monday that there were no Armenian citizens aboard the ill-fated Metrojet flight 9268, which crashed shortly after takeoff in the Egyptian city Sham el-Sheikh Saturday, there are reports that two Armenians, who are Russian citizens were on board the plane.

All 224 passengers were killed, among them seven crew members.

The two were identified as Leonid Mnatsakanov, a 39-year-old native of Russia’s Volgograd region, and Armen Vishnev, a 27-year-old resident of St. Petersburg.

President Serzh Sarkisian sent condolences to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on October 31. Other Armenian officials also offered their condolences to their counterparts in Russia on the tragedy.

CNN reported Tuesday that new information suggests a midair flash — possibly an explosion — was detected on Metrojet Flight 9268 before it crashed in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

A midair heat flash from the Russian airliner was detected by a U.S. military satellite before the plane crashed Saturday, the official told CNN.

Intelligence analysis has ruled out that the Russian commercial airplane was struck by a missile, but the new information suggests that there was a catastrophic in-flight event — including possibly a bomb, though experts are considering other explanations, according to U.S. officials.

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