Russian plane crash: Black box data 'reveals Metrojet A321 was brought down over Egypt by explosion'

224 people died when the Russian MetroJet came down in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula

Analysis of the black box on board the Russian plane brought down over Egypt shows it crashed following an “explosion”, French media has claimed.

According to LePoint, an unnamed official close to the investigation has revealed that results of tests carried out on the cockpit voice recorder show the tragedy could not have been caused by either a technical fault or an error by the crew.

A source who had access to black boxes said the distinct sound of an explosion mid-flight could be heard, adding that the motor did not break down prior to it, according to France 2.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said there is a "significant possibility" Isis is responsible for bringing down the plane, while US President Barack Obama has agreed there is a "possibility" the crash was caused by a bomb. 

Also this afternoon, an Egyptian government official has reportedly told ABC the possibility the flight was brought down by a bomb is now the “most plausible scenario”.

The claim was further validated when Vladimir Putin agreed to suspend all flights to Egypt on the recommendation of the head of Russia's security service.

Flight KGL9268 to St Petersburg came down in the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday after departing from Sharm el-Sheikh airport. All 217 passengers and seven crew members were killed when the flight crashed. Most of the passengers were Russian.

UK and US investigators have both indicated they suspect a bomb in the baggage hold, either in or on top of luggage, was the cause of the crash – but Russian officials have cautioned this interpretation, with investigators examining pieces of wreckage for possible traces of explosives.

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