Monitor: Egyptian and American comment on the EgyptAir plane that crashed into the Atlantic, killing all 217 people on board

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Al Ahram, Egypt

While the Americans pursue their search for the EgyptAir aeroplane debris, and their retrieval of crash victims, investigating every piece of evidence that might explain the cause of the accident, it is not likely that the mystery will be solved soon. In previous similar crashes, which took place on the same air route, investigations have dragged on for weeks and even months, with no convincing explanation given in most cases. The searches for bodies were also not completed until days or weeks later. The question remains: is it not a strange, and fatal, coincidence, that four aeroplanes should plunge into the Atlantic shortly after taking off from New York? And, still, no answers could be found?

Boston Globe, US

We feel a kinship with the 219 EgyptAir victims, and not just because they plunged into waters south of Nantucket. Air travel has become common enough for many of us to have been on that model plane, flown that route, or departed from that airport. So there but for the grace of God go we: Virginia Chaplin and Richard Brokaw of Maine, newlyweds in their seventies who planned a vacation down the Nile; Salah Adam of Toronto, with his wife and two small children, missionaries en route to refugee camps in Sudan. And the others. Air travel is familiar, even common, but there is still a small shudder at the hubris of Man to be hurtling, like Icarus, toward the sun.

The Egyptian Gazette

So what is the reason behind the crash when the aeroplane was flying at 33,000 feet? Did it run into a thunderstorm? Did its jets suddenly stop and the aeroplane fall from the sky like a stone? Was it a mistaken target by a ground-to-air missile? This suggestion was staged when a Swiss Air and a TWA met their tragic end. Did an unknown person place a bomb aboard the aeroplane? Did a laser beam released from any of the conflicting agencies in the US hit it? All these questions are possibilities. But, Egyptian pilots are known for their expertise and efficiency. The ill- fated aeroplane was also given a validity label and certificate. If we suppose that there were no shortcomings in maintenance the aeroplane could not have fallen in such a tragic way. Unfortunately, it has gone, along with its secret.

USA Today

Yet another passenger airliner has crashed into the chilling waters of the North Atlantic, the third in three years. EgyptAir Flight 990 took with it 217 lives and leaves behind as many questions as mourners. Frustratingly, there can be no quick, definitive answers. Inaccurate early assumptions too often have accompanied air tragedies - most notably after the crash of TWA 800 on a similar flight path three years ago. On the most personal level, however, the news since TWA 800 is better. One critical failure has already been addressed. After the TWA crash, family members reported that airline officials delayed confirming the deaths of their loved ones for 12 hours. By contrast, the families of 185 passengers on Flight 990 had been notified by 4pm Sunday. Pressure from disgruntled TWA 800 families led to the Family Assistance Act, which guides how airlines handle the process, and cost, of recovering and identifying victims. Since 1997, even foreign airlines have had to outline their family-assistance plans to the NTSB, and EgyptAir has done so, the safety board says. Flight 990 could become a measure of federal and industry officials' newfound sensitivity. That's the most that can be hoped for. The only good that can come out of this tragedy is that the lessons of recent crashes will prove to have been well learned.

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