Well, it’s certainly not much of a surprise to see that the disappearance of EgyptAir flight MS804 tops today’s Google searches in the UK with over 200,000.
While early reports spoke simply of a disappearance with radar contact being lost at 01:30 BST, it quickly became clear that something more sinister was likely to have happened to the flight carrying 66 passengers (30 Egyptians, 15 French and 10 other nationalities including one Briton).
Likely causes for the (now known to have crashed) plane’s plunge from the sky were discussed by various worldwide news outlets throughout the day. Whilst technical difficulties have not been ruled out, many are quick to point out that terrorism is a far more likely reason. Indeed, the BBC quotes Sherif Fathy, Egypt’s civil aviation minister, as “…the possibility of having a different action, or having a terror attack, is higher than the possibility of having a technical [fault].”
With debris now being picked up on Mediterranean shores, the investigation into the cause of the crash will gather momentum. It remains to be seen whether explanations will be found for the apparent 90° turn, followed by a 360° turn, before the sudden plunge, which was reported by Greek authorities.
Whatever the cause of this tragedy, Egypt is likely to remain cautious about releasing information regarding the plane for fear of unnecessarily impacting the country’s tourism industry, already facing serious losses following the downing of the Russian jet over the Sinai in October.
Bizarrely, the second most popular search today was for “Sky News”, with over 100000 queries for the term. Presumably some of those would be accounted for by queries from those seeking news on EgyptAir flight MS804, though.