All 224 people on board Russian airliner flight KGL9268 have died after the plane crashed in central Sinai, Egyptian officials have said.

The Kogalymavia/Metrojet Airbus A-321 experienced rapid altitude loss and crashed shortly after taking off from the Egyptian Red Sea holiday resort of Sharm el-Sheikh en route to St Petersburg in Russia.

The plane disappeared off radar screens at 06:20 local time (04:20 GMT), 22 minutes after take-off, and wreckage of the plane was soon discovered in the Hasana of the Egyptian Sinai.

Russian authorities say the plane was carrying 217 passengers, including 138 women and 17 children, and seven crew. 221 of those on board were Russian nationals, three were Ukrainian.

One emergency responder described a “tragic scene” where the bodies of victims were still strapped to their seats.

The black box recorder has been recovered and bodies have been removed from the wreckage as the investigation into the cause of the crash continues.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared Sunday a day of mourning.

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