UK Airliner Over Sinai Narrowly Dodged Missile

November 7, 2015

2 min read

It has been confirmed that in August, a British airliner narrowly missed being hit by a missile while making a landing approach the airport in Sharm el-Sheikh. On August 23, Thomson’s flight TOM 476,carrying 189 passengers, was approaching the airport in the Sinai Peninsula when the pilot, who was on the flight deck but not flying the airplane at the time, saw the missile. He ordered evasive action and the missile passed within 300 meters of hitting the aircraft.

The British government confirmed an investigation into the reported missile incident was carried out by the Department for Transport (DOT).

A spokesman said: “The DOT conducted a full investigation in conjunction with other UK government experts. After reviewing the details of the case, the investigation concluded that there was no cause for concern and it was safe to continue our flying program to Sharm-el Sheikh.”

An Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman said the incident involved ground-to-ground firing at a military base a few miles from Sharm-el Sheikh airport, and that no plane was in danger.

The plane landed safely and the passengers were not informed of the incident.

This revelation is especially shocking in light of the crash of a Russian airliner last week in the Sinai, killing 224. Though the investigation is ongoing, the Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed credit for downing the airliner and there are suspicions the crash was caused by a bomb smuggled on board by one of the ground crew at the airport.

French aviation officials investigating the crash confirmed to the press that   the flight data recorder suggested a “violent, sudden” explosion.

British, Irish, and Russian airlines have suspended flights from entering or leaving the Sinai, stranding thousands of people. All airlines are currently forbidden to fly below 8,000 meters over the Sinai due to fear of terrorist missile attacks.

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