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U.K., Ireland Halt Flights to Sharm el Sheikh; Speculation Metrojet 9268 Brought Down by Bomb. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired November 4, 2015 - 15:00   ET




JONATHAN MANN, CNN HOST: Tonight, the U.K. and now Ireland halt flights to and from Sharm el Sheikh.

Britain is saying that a bomb may well be the cause of the plane crash in Egypt this as the search doubles in size, and victims' bodies show signs of

what could be an explosion.

Hello, I'm Jonathan Mann, live at CNN Center, and this is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.


MANN: Thank you for joining us. We begin with the fallout from a deadly Russian jetliner crash in the Sinai Desert.

Ireland is suspending all flights to and from Sharm El-Sheikh Egypt, until further notice. Ireland's move follows the suspension of flights to and

from the Egyptian resort by the U.K.

The security precautions come amid speculation that Metro Jet flight 9268 was brought down by a bomb. The British Transportation Secretary says

safety is a primary concern.


PATRICK MCLAUGHLIN, U.K. TRANSPORT SECRETARY: Well, obviously, we've been following the investigation into the crash that took place on Saturday very

closely. We cannot categorically say why the Russian jet crashed, but we have become concerned that the plane may well have been brought down as a

result of the explosive device. Safety will always be the priority, and that is why the Prime Minister last night called President Sisi to express

concern and to ensure that the tightest possible security arrangements were put in place at Sharm El Sheikh.

As a precautionary measure, we've decided that flights is due to the leave Sharm El Sheikh this evening for the U.K will be delayed and that will

allow us time to ensure that the right security measures are in place for flights.


MANN: We're tracking the story from all of the angles. Phil Black is reporting from 10 Downing Street, and our Erin McLaughlin is in Sharm El


Phil, if we could start with you, what exactly is the British government saying and doing why is it saying and doing?

PHIL BLACK, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jonathan, as you heard there they believe that this aircraft may well have been brought down

by an explosive device.

And in response they have grounded the aircraft that were due to fly directly from Sharm El Sheikh to the U.K. while they conduct their own

security assessment on the ground with their own people.

Because what that concern means is that if they believe an explosive device brought this aircraft down, then somehow an explosive device got onto that

aircraft and they want to make sure that can't happen again.

So waiting to hear precisely what the result of that assessment is. In terms of why they are doing it, they are just talking about information

that has come to light. They wouldn't have said this lightly but they are not revealing specifically what the source or the nature of the information

is, Jonathan.

MANN: Well British travel firms and tour groups are already beginning to respond. What's the impact going to be on travelers?

BLACK: So for the moment, travelers who are in Sharm El-Sheikh have to wait there until this assessment is finished, and we're told that it should be

finished tonight and that the government will make a decision on how to proceed forward from there.

Two Easy Jet flights were due to return to the U.K., this evening, they're delayed. British Airways has flights that are due to fly tomorrow; they're

all simply left in a holding pattern if you like until the British Government decides what to do next.

MANN: Now, Phil, we are just receiving word that the Pentagon believes that a bomb may be responsible for this crash. I'm still waiting for official

confirmation but that's what our Pentagon correspondent is reporting.

Once again this seems to be moving very fast considering that neither the British government nor the American governments are official party to the

investigation that's now underway.

BLACK: That's right. It is an Egypt or an Egyptian-led investigation. And the Egyptian authorities and the Russians as well who have a big part to

play in here given the origin of the aircraft and so forth.

They have all said and really have been quite dismissive of the idea that terrorism played a role here. Any idea or any suggestion? Well they've said

that that is unfounded speculation.

What you have now is the British government and possibly the Americans as well taking a position that is very much opposed to that - very different

to that. Saying that they have concerns that they believe are well founded enough to announce this publicly which as I said would not have been taken

lightly and would not have taken without considerably a good reason or information leading them to do so.

And more than that, to take these precautions, actually grounding these planes, sending in their own aviation experts into an airport that exists

on its sovereign Egyptian territory.

So all of this is important, because not only are these two countries now taking very different positions publicly, but their leaders are due to meet

here at Downing Street tomorrow. The Egyptian President is due here for meetings with David Cameron, the British Prime Minister. Terrorism security

was always going to be on the agenda, you can be certain that these latest developments will be as well. Jonathan.


MANN: Phil Black live in London.

We're now going to join our sister network CNN USA and Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr for the latest from there.