Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Monday, November 1, 1999 Published at 22:05 GMT


'A big tragedy for us'

A distraught relative is comforted at Cairo Airport

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been expressed his shock and sadness at the EgyptAir crash, which he said was a tragedy that could have happened anywhere in the world.

The loss of flight 990
"Really I was shocked. It was a big tragedy for us," Mr Mubarak said.

"It could happen anywhere in the world and I give my condolences to all the passengers, to all the families, to the families of the crews who have been lost in this tragedy."

The 10-year-old EgyptAir Boeing 767 went down in the Atlantic Ocean about 60 miles (100 km) off Nantucket island on Sunday with 217 people on board.

[ image: Suhair Hathout's sister was on the flight.]
Suhair Hathout's sister was on the flight.
Asked whether he knew the reasons for the crash, Mr Mubarak said he was waiting for the results of the investigation.

"It may be something concerning the weather conditions. I cannot foretell.

"I will be waiting until I see the final analysis of the American authorities to tell us what the result."

Mr Mubarak said relatives would be compensated "according to international law".

Relatives fly to US

EgyptAir put on a special flight to take bereaved relatives to New York, which will also carry officials of Egypt's Civil Aviation Authority to serve as observers to the US investigations.

[ image:  ]
In Cairo, relatives of passengers of the doomed flight were issued with visas at the American Embassy to travel to New York to identify the bodies of their loved ones.

Among them was Abdallah el-Mahourky, whose 36-year-old sister Maha was a stewardess on the flight.

"I still cannot get to grips with it," he said.

"I heard about it from CNN in the morning and went straight to the airport. This accident was an act of God."

Mohamed Ahmed Atta, the uncle of Egyptian navy engineer Mohamed Abdel-Hai Mohamed Shaheen, said his 34-year-old nephew was mourned by his parents, wife and two-year-old son.

"They were too distraught to come. I wasn't going to go (to the US), but I have to make sure that it is Mohamed."

Bystanders around the embassy watched in sympathy. "God bless their souls!" said one man.

Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram reported that co-pilot Gameel al-Battouti called his son at home on Friday to tell his family he was well and preparing to come home.

"And this was the last call between us and him," his son said.

EgyptAir's emergency telephone numbers:

In the US: +1 - 800 - 243 1094
Outside the US: (202) 245-2244
(202) 244-1460
(202) 418-3690

Untitled Document Send us your thoughts on EgyptAir 990. Click here.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

01 Nov 99 | World
Sea search stepped up

01 Nov 99 | World
The search for answers

01 Nov 99 | World
Families mourn the missing

31 Oct 99 | World
A string of disasters

01 Nov 99 | World
Grim task ahead for searchers

31 Oct 99 | World
Relatives to fly to New York

31 Oct 99 | World
The EgyptAir aftermath in pictures

31 Oct 99 | Americas
Safety officials 'dismayed ' with Boeing

31 Oct 99 | The Company File
EgyptAir - 'pioneer of air travel'

31 Oct 99 | Americas
Boeing 767: Transatlantic workhorse

Internet Links


US Coast Guard


National Transportation Safety Board

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

From Business
Microsoft trial mediator appointed

Violence greets Clinton visit

From Entertainment
Taxman scoops a million

Safety chief deplores crash speculation

Bush calls for 'American internationalism'

Hurricane Lenny abates

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Russian forces pound Grozny

Senate passes US budget

Boy held after US school shooting

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

Sudan power struggle denied

Sharif: I'm innocent

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

India's malnutrition 'crisis'

Next steps for peace

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Dam builders charged in bribery scandal

Burundi camps 'too dire' to help

DiCaprio film trial begins

Memorial for bonfire dead

Spy allegations bug South Africa

Senate leader's dismissal 'a good omen'

Tamil rebels consolidate gains

New constitution for Venezuela

Hurricane pounds Caribbean

Millennium sect heads for the hills

South African gays take centre stage

Lockerbie trial judges named