A 15-year-old girl or a pensioner were sitting in the seat on top of the bomb that destroyed a Russian Metrojet airliner over Egypt, Russian investigators reportedly believe.
A total of 224 people were killed when the plane crashed in the Sinai desert in October.
Maria Ivleva, from St Petersburg, is thought to have been in one of the two seats investigators believe the bomb was “likely” placed under during the flight from Sharm El-Sheikh and St Petersburg.
According to a report by Russian media outlet LifeNews, investigators found the bomb erupted with the force equivalent to “a kilo of TNT” beneath either seat 30A or 31A. Pensioner Nadezhda Bashakova, 78, was in the other seat.
The report also notes the shockwaves from the blast spread forward and passengers in rows 27 to 32 are likely to have died instantly.
The investigation is being conducted by experts from both Russian and Egyptian aviation agencies, joined by a team from the European Aviation Safety Agency and the US National Transportation Safety Board. The EASA and NTSB teams are involved because the Airbus is made in Europe and the engines manufactured in the US.
The report backs Russia’s initial assertion that a bomb brought the airliner down, rather than being shot down as suggested by UK and US intelligence agencies.
Militant group Isis claimed responsibility for the bombing in the latest publication of its propaganda magazine, Dabiq, which also featured an image of what it said was the bomb placed in a soft drink can.
UK airlines are no longer operating flights from Sharm El-Sheikh to the UK and the Foreign Office is advising against all travel to the north of Sinai and some parts of the south, as well as the area west of the Nile Valley and Nile Delta regions.
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