The bodies of 144 people killed in a Russian plane crash in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Saturday have been flown to St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Airport, RIA Novosti reported Monday.
A second flight carrying more bodies was expected to arrive Monday evening.
The bodies were brought to St. Petersburg and delivered to the morgue for examination and investigation, the deputy head of the St. Petersburg branch of the Emergency Situations Ministry, Alexei Shupenko, told RIA Novosti.
The Russian plane broke up in mid-air, the head of Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee Viktor Sorochenko said after visiting the crash site, the BBC reported Sunday. He said it was too early to ascertain what caused the crash.
The head of Russia's Air Transport Agency Alexander Neradko said that “all signs attest to the fact that the aircraft disintegrated in the air at a high altitude,” the BBC reported.
The Airbus 321 crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Saturday 23 minutes after takeoff. All 217 passengers and seven crew members were killed. Four of the passengers were Ukrainian and one was Belarussian, the BBC reported, while the rest were Russian.
The plane was operated by the Russian airline Kogalymavia, and was flying from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg.