A Russian plane broke up in midair over the weekend before crashing into Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, the Chicago Tribune reports, killing all 224 people onboard.
CNN reports that in a press conference Monday an executive from the airline that operated the flight said that the only reasonable explanation for the crash was "an external influence," since planes do not break apart in midair.
"We exclude technical problems and reject human error," Alexander Smirnov, a Kogalymavia airline official, told CNN, adding that the crew did not issue any warnings or communications immediately before the plane went down. While the plane's flight and voice data recorders had been recovered, they had not been read or decoded.
Officials also downplayed a claim by Islamic militants that they brought down the plane. The Chicago Tribune noted that the crash takes place weeks after Russia began airstrikes against rebel positions in Syria.
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