...Was Crashed 727 "The One"?
Investigators said an unnamed "technical fault" likely caused the Flash Airlines Boeing 737 to crash into the Red Sea on Saturday, killing 148 people. All but one of the 135 passengers was French and the 13 crew members were Egyptian and Moroccan. The plane was carrying tourists from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh back to Paris, via Cairo. The plane crashed in water hundreds of feet deep, hampering the search for bodies. The crash comes just two weeks after a Union des Transports Africains (UTA) Boeing 727 crashed off the coast of Benin, killing at least 130 of the 161 people aboard and reigniting a months-old rumor about the origin of the airplane involved. The U.S. State Department confirmed Friday it was investigating whether the Benin 727 was the same aircraft that "disappeared" from Angola last May 25. The speculation was heightened by earlier reports by a Canadian humanitarian pilot who claims to have seen the missing airliner, repainted in UTA colors (but with its old registration numbers still visible) at an airport in Guinea in June. The disappearance of the 727 set off a world-wide search because U.S. officials feared the plane might have been taken by terrorists for use in another attack. A Lebanese report suggests the crashed plane was the missing Angolan aircraft but Lebanese aviation officials said the crashed 727 appeared to be much older than the missing one.