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CONNECT THE WORLD
Greek OfficialsMake Grim Discovery in Search for Flight 804; Egyptian Military Spokesman Says Passenger Belongings Found in Mediterranean Sea; Nigerian Military Says They Rescued Another Kidnapepd Chibok Girl. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired May 20, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This fireball in the sky.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (Translate): Greece is something and here they say something else. You don't know what's the truth. You still have hope in
AHMED ADEL, EGYPTAIR VICE CHAIRMAN: All the procedures that should have been done in Paris were done to the letter.
SHARIF FATHI, EGYPTIAN CIVIL AVIATION MINISTER: If you analyze the situation properly, the possibility of having a different action or having
a terror attack is higher than the responsibility of having a technical...
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We don't know where or what caused this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CONNECT THE WORLD SHOW HOST: I'm Becky Anderson and you are watching a special edition of "Connect the World" live from outside the
international airport in Cairo. I'm on the ground here to take you right to the heart of CNN's breaking news coverage of the crashed EgyptAir flight.
Now, we are going to explore every angle of the story in the way that only CNN can. My colleague Arwa Damon is here with me, Atika Shubert tracking
the latest for you from Paris and Nic Robertson is monitoring the search from Crete in Greece, and we will speak to all of them this hour.
First up, here's the latest that we know right now. Greek officials say search teams have made a grim discovery. Human remains as well as part of a
plane seat from the missing flight 804. As is the European Space Agency says it spotted what could be an oil slick near where the plane is likely
have gone down in the Mediterranean Sea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: A sign EgyptAir Flight 804 has been found. An Egyptian military spokesman says passenger belongings and parts of the aircraft have been
located north of the coastal city of Alexandria. As the French foreign minister insists that the Paris Airport from which the Airbus 320 departed
was completely secure.
JEAN-MARC AYRAULT, FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER (TRANSLATED): The government strengthened all its measures following the January attacks. Everything is
being done to reinforce everywhere.
ANDERSON: U.S. government officials serving as analyst in the investigation are operating under the theory that a bomb brought down the missing jet but
have yet to find any indications of an explosion.
JOHN KIRBY, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: I'm not aware of any sensors that the U.S. military has or deploys that picked anything up on this.
ANDERSON: The French foreign minister cautioning terrorism is currently a suspicion, not based on any concrete evidence.
AYRAULT (TRANSLATED): We need to give the maximum amount of information in order to give the truth. We owe this to the families.
ANDERSON: The plane last contacting Greek traffic controllers at 1:48 a.m. but not responding to repeated calls just 40 minutes later. And after
another two minutes, completely dropping off the radar. Egypt aviation pointing to this strange communications pattern says it seems more likely
to have been a terrorist act.
SHERF FATHI, EGYPT AVIATION MINISTER: Having a terror attack is higher than the possibility of having a technical.
ANDERSON: And Greek officials say the plane swerved then plunged before apparently falling into the Mediterranean. The U.S. officials say the
swerving may just be the pieces of the plane in the sky picked up by the radar. Supporting the theory, there was some kind of explosion 37,000 feet
in the air.
AHMED ADEL, EGYPTAIR VICE PRESIDENT: All the maintenance schedule of the aircraft was done on time. There were no snags or anything that was
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Someone speak to me. Well, just a few hours ago at a mosque here in Cairo hundreds of mourners came together to pray for those who lost
their lives in the crash. The majority of those on board, of course, the Egyptian themselves half of those prayers came to an end. My colleague Ian
Lee spoke to the uncle of the doomed flight's co-pilot outside of that mosque.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Can you just tell me about your nephew, some words, what kind of man was he?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Again, he's absolutely a very kind person. You never see a guy his age in a humanity and sense of humor. I would say he was the only
one that was really driving smiles on our faces, so -- what happened is really very much unfortunate. And there's not a big incident for only us as
a family but as you can see, the entire country is really sad about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[11:05:00] ANDERSON: Well, let's get you the very latest. CNN senior international correspondent Arwa Damon is with me now. Incredibly difficult
for the family and friends of those 66 people on board who had gathered here at what was a crisis center yesterday only to find out today that
flight is doomed.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And when they were coming in here initially yesterday, they were a bit optimistic that perhaps
maybe their loved ones would be found. They were trying to hold on to this hope that that worst case scenario that no one wants to have to go through
wouldn't materialize. Sadly, the evidence is pointing to the fact that this plane has, in fact, crashed into the Mediterranean.
And investigators are beginning to find small clues, things like suitcases, they found seats from the airplane and also found some human remains,
unclear at this stage if they are part of the passengers who were on that doomed flight or if perhaps, as the reality, they could be migrants or
others who have drowned in these very harsh waters. And there's been a fair amount of frustration amongst the family members especially the family
members of the crew feeling as if they are being wrongfully blamed, that EgyptAir is being blamed.
But perhaps the (ph) blame things put on their crew whereas there is the sense of it was not their fault. They, too, were the victims of this
horrific crash and the key question that they and everyone wants answers to is, how did this happen? That's the big question that's out there right
now. Was it terrorism or was it some sort of technical error, and a lot of the logic of leaning towards terrorism.
ANDERSON: That's right, and the investigation will clearly open now. The search and rescue which has sadly become a search and recovery operation,
being run by the Egyptian military with help
ANDERSON: ...happens in the next 24 hours.
DAMON: Well, what they're going to be trying to do and they also managed to detect within satellite imagery an oil spill is pinpoint where the bulk of
the wreckage actually is and they're going to have to somehow extract that from the water. So, you've got ships that are moving around from various
different nations just combing through the water looking for other parts of debris. You've got satellite imagery, you've got planes, helicopters in the
sky, really a number of nations coming together trying to figure out exactly where that wreckage is.
ANDERSON: Arwa Damon back with me later on this hour after the time being. Thank you. Let's bring in CNN's Atika Shubert who tonight is outside of
Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris where the EgyptAir plane took off just before midnight on Wednesday, disappearing from radar about three hours
after that and sadly today, it seems in the last few hours, it is determined, Atika, that that plane has come down, that debris is now being
collected. We know that French investigators arrived here to Cairo airport earlier on today to help in that investigation. What is being said in
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, clearly the most critical clues will come from the wreckage itself. They'll be looking for signs of any
sort of explosion and whether or not they see any other traces. Now, until they're able to get to those pieces of wreckage, the investigation really
begins here. They're looking for any weak links to see if there was any possibility of anyone planting anything on the plane. So, what they've done
is introduced as many personnel and employees as they can that may have had access to the plane.
That means everything from baggage handlers to catering, to any sort of cleaners, for example, that may have been aboard the plane. What we do know
is that the plane was cleared for takeoff. They had people go through and just check to see if anything was left behind, but we don't know anything
more than that at this point. Now, Charles de Gaulle has some pretty stringent security. In order to get to any of those restricted areas you do
need what's called here a red badge.
That means you have to go through police screening, you have security checks, your personal lockers are searched randomly and periodically. So,
it is pretty tight security here, but nothing is 100 percent and this is why investigators are going back over to see if there are weak links. So
far no red flags but they're still investigating, Becky.
ANDERSON: And Atika, just how many people have access to exits (ph) and other restricted areas at Charles de Gaulle?
SHUBERT: Well, it's an extraordinary number. Between Orly and Charles de Gaulle Airport, 85,000 people have these red badges and they do duties
checks and they've been particularly adamant over the last few months especially in December, when they actually removed somewhere between 70 to
85 people, taking away their security badges for fears they may have links to radical Islamic groups other security risks.
So, it is tough to get a red badge, but because there's so many people needed to service an airport and airplane, it is very hard to check all of
those people and to do all of that screening. It just takes a lot of time. So, this is the challenge that the airport is up against, how to screen all
those people needed to service the millions of passengers that come through here every year.
[11:10:00] ANDERSON: Atika Shubert is in Paris for you this evening. Atika, thank you for that. Plus, communication by the pilot was with Greek air
traffic controllers. CNN international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson tonight for you on the Greek island of Crete, which Nic is being used as a
base of search and recovery operations, correct?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It is. I'm on a military air base in the middle of Crete, right in the mountains about
1,000 feet up here and what you have behind me here is a Greek Air Force C- 130 military cargo transport aircraft. This aircraft here is preparing to go out in the next few hours on that search and recovery effort. There was
another C-130, Greek C-130 just out in the air over the search site right now.
There's also a Greek surveillance aircraft in the air as well. We also now know that they have been joined -- these aircraft have been joined by three
United States P-3 Orion surveillance aircraft. So, the United States has increased its effort here. It was one P-3 yesterday, now its three Orion P-
3 aircraft. So, the air effort is increasing.
They're using the information, the location from where some of the debris has been located as we know, human remains, the two seat, a suitcase or
suitcases, and now also from the European Space Agency, this oil slick that has been spotted by satellite, all of these being used to help direct these
aircraft on to that search area that we know is just southeast of where the aircraft, the EgyptAir 804 disappeared from radar in the early hours of
Thursday morning, Becky.
ANDERSON: Nic, from those that you have been speaking to and -- what's the choreography of what happens next? How long might this recovery process and
clearly at this point sadly this has moved from rescue, air search and rescue, on that seems to an official search and recovery effort -- just how
long could that take?
ROBERTSON: Becky, I think at this stage the experts would tell you that it's how long is a piece of string? Bu let's try and break it down a little
bit because we can break it down at this stage. It took 30 hours to find those first pieces of debris. That's very helpful. We know that was -- they
were discovered several hours ago now.
We haven't heard reports of more pieces discovered. However, Greek and Egyptian authorities may not be sort of giving us the blow by blow of what
they're learning out at sea. We may get an update later in the day, which may reveal more information. But if you're in a scenario where at the end
of today you have only found the one tiny cluster of debris, you are still trying to find where the aircraft went down.
Once you discover that, you will then be able to begin to effort more seriously and a more focused way, the flight data and flight voice
recorders, the so-called black boxes that were aboard the aircraft. Here, you run into a problem because the Mediterranean where this aircraft went
down is at its deepest, maximum about 15,000 feet.
Not only that, the ocean floor in that area is not flat. It's got lot of ridges, valleys and troughs. This is going to make locating the aircraft on
the ocean floor that much more difficult. So we can break it down and say look, 30 hours to find some pieces, if they don't find a lot more pieces
and having got this focus in the next day or so, then it could really stretch out even to begin looking for the black boxes, but we don't have
enough information to be clear on this, Becky. But rest assured there's not going to be a quick process.
ANDERSON: Yeah, Nic Robertson in Crete for you as we round out the coverage just for the time being. I want to take a very short break but we will be
right back with more on the crash of EgyptAir 804aAfter this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking in foreign language).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, I'm Robyn Curnow. I want to bring you up to date on this breaking news we're covering. Sixty-
six people were aboard EgyptAir flight 804. This is one of them, 40-year- old Ahmed Helal (ph). His employer, the consumer goods company Procter & Gamble tells CNN he was heading back to Egypt to visit his sick father.
You're watching CNN and I'm Robyn Curnow with you from the CNN Center.
By ship and air, search crews are sweeping the Mediterranean Sea where they believe EgyptAir flight 804 went down. And the European Space Agency says
their satellite may have spotted an oil slick in the water. So far, searchers have recovered human remains and part of an airline seat. They've
also found some passengers' personal belongings.
Meantime, Pope Francis has offered his condolences to the Egyptian government. And as we said, 66 souls were on board that flight. Among them
British geologist Richard Osmond who had a newborn child at home. His brother described the sense of loss.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Richard was a very kind person, loving person, very focused. He was a workaholic and he never deviated from the straight path.
So yeah, he was just, you know, a very admirable person and I think a lot of people admired him for his strength and values.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: So many personal tragedies. We go now to Cairo where the investigation continues into what happened to Flight 804. Becky Anderson
standing by, hi there Becky.
[11:20:00] ANDERSON: Thank you Robyn. And Egypt, no stranger to aviation incidents. In March, an unstable man and I quote, "diverted an EgyptAir
flight from Alexandria to Cyprus. The suspected hijacker later released all hostages and surrendered.
Last October, a Metrojet flight was downed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula killing all 224 people on board. Isis claimed responsibility. While this
was not an EgyptAir flight, last October's crash raised concerns about security at Egypt's airports. Also back in 1999, EgyptAir airline crashed
into the Atlantic Ocean killing all 217 people. American investigators later concluded the co-pilot deliberately crashed that plane.
And back in 1985, gunmen hijacked and diverted another EgyptAir flight. Dozens of passengers killed when Egyptian troops raided the plane. I'm
joined by H.A. Hellyer, who is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Middle East center. And H.A. perhaps understandably, people drawing
parallels to the way to the incident that we had some 36, 37 hours ago and parallels to the way that the Egyptians dealt with the case. Is that though
fair in this case do you think?
H.A. HELLYER, ATLANTIC COUNCIL SENIOR FELLOW: Well, when it came to the Russian airliner going down, that was a flight that took off from Egyptian
territory, from an Egyptian airport so that obviously raised certain questions about Egyptian security. When it comes to this particular plane,
however, it was a plane that went from Charles de Gaulle and presumably crashed on route.
We don't know how, we don't know why, but that certainly happened from Paris as opposed to Cairo. So, I think questions ought to be raised about
security on the flight, but certainly more questions at least as many questions ought to be raised about what happened in Paris and other points
along the way before Paris.
ANDERSON: Certainly it surprised some experts, the speed at which Egypt -- late Thursday -- only hours after the flight as it were, were prepared to
suggest that this was likely a terror-related incident rather than anything else, including a technical issue. And some might suggest, that a terror
related incident, how unlawful (ph) that were, might vindicate the attitude that the Egyptian authorities have toward security in that strong arm.
HELLYER: Well, certainly in Egypt for the past several years, the notion of a war on terror has energized pretty much every institution of the state
and certainly the fear of terrorism, the threat of it, has been used to justify a sway (ph) of different measures. Certainly, if this is a
terrorist attack then it will simply have implications for that, but also the wider narrative that Egypt is presenting of the region in general, not
only in Egypt but also in different parts of the region as well as in Europe as well.
It's very telling that within a few hours of this taking place the first two places from which there were accusations that this was likely a
terrorist attack was from the head of the Russian FSB, the Secret Service and also Donald Trump. A very different, a very difference (ph) sort of
people but both having an interest in presenting this against the backdrop of terrorism.
ANDERSON: Some people might say not very different type of people actually, but that would be what they said instead but not what we have said. Talk to
me about how you feel the Egyptians have dealt with what has been a traumatic period -- 36, 37 hours -- really with very little information,
I'm sure that wasn't on purpose, perhaps people getting ahead of themselves, hoping to be as transparent as possible only to have to row
back from certain information and now us getting into the point of which there is an investigation and also a recovery process ongoing. How is the
Egyptian authority copes?
HELLYER: So, yesterday you saw from France an investigation being announced by the public prosecutor. You saw in Egypt an investigation being announced
as well. There was bound to be certain pieces of information that went out there that people got wrong. The Greeks thought that they found debris.
They were wrong. They jumped the gun in that regard.
But I think that when it comes t Egypt in particular as the airline -- they've actually impressed a lot of observers inside and outside of Egypt
for the quickness and the speed of which they've actually tried to announce things through their various channels. But having said that, if this were a
militant attack, if this is terrorism, then it won't be Egypt that will necessarily be held up to scrutiny which means they have less -- not so
much to lose but less to have to answer for. It will be the French that have more questions.
ANDERSON: And we will continue to interrogate that part of this story for the time being. Thank you. You'll join me again at the end of the show. As
H.A. widely pointed out, the authorities here have been very quick to release information as they have it and certainly just hours after, it was
clear that debris had been recovered and that was just some hours ago. Statements from the Egyptian president expressing his condolences and
regret, and EgyptAir visiting the friends and family of those 66 people who were on board flight 804.
We know that some of those were staying in a hotel very close to here after this had been set up here, an EgyptAir -- one of EgyptAir facilities as a
crisis center as the hours unfolded at the beginning of this event. So, doing their best I think is certainly the sort of message that many people
have suggested when it comes to the Egyptian authorities and how they are dealing with what is let's not forget a very, very tragic situation. Our
senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman lived in Cairo for many years and he covered the 1999 EgyptAir crash and he joins me now live from
Rome. Your thoughts, Ben?
[11:25:00] BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Becky. I think we have to say that this time around, the Egyptian
authorities have been as transparent as they possibly can about this incident certainly compared to the past. You have to realize that when a
plane goes down, wherever it is, there is inevitably in the beginning going to be a lot of misinformation, mistakes, faulty conclusions being made, in
the initial hours. That's what happened yesterday, but at the end of the day Egyptian officials did come back at that statement.
For instance, the vice president of EgyptAir, saying -- telling Christiane Amanpour that debris had been found and then stepped back and they
corrected themselves. We heard the Minister of Civil Aviation saying in a press conference that it would appear that it's more likely a terrorist
incident than a mechanical failure. So they've been fairly straightforward as H.A. properly said. Now, you compare that to, for instance 1999 EgyptAir
That was a catastrophe of mixed messages, of misinformation, of conspiracy theories, going wild and to a certain extent with the Metrojet airliner,
which went down on the 31st of October last year. It was the same thing. And what happens is Egyptian officials very defensive in the beginning,
will start to push back at any suggestion that it was a terrorist attack and then the media starts coming up with conspiracy theories, some of them
quite outrageous, ridiculous and far-fetched.
So, I think what we're seeing is an attempt by Egyptian officials to try to head off that wild speculation and head -- look face on, confront the
possibility that perhaps terrorism was involved although we must stress at this point we do not know why this plane went down, Becky?
ANDERSON: And you're absolutely right to point that out. Ben, always a pleasure. Thank you. Ben Wedeman who we suggested to cover this beat, Egypt
for many, many years. We are covering every side of this story for you. You can find all of the coverage any time at cnn.com, including more about the
victims and, indeed, their grieving families. As well as the different theories on what happened to EgyptAir Flight 804. We will be right back
with more coverage on the crash of the EgyptAir Flight 804 after this short break. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson and you are watching a special edition of "Connect the World" live from Cairo. This evening, Egypt has
formed a special committee to investigate the crash of EgyptAir flight 804. According to the Greek defense ministry, Egyptian authorities say their
search has turned up human remains as well as part of an aircraft seat.
And the European Space Agency says it spotted what could be an oil slick in the Mediterranean where the plane is believed to have come down. Right now
the search is on for the plane's data recorders. They may explain what happened to the passenger jet which crashed Thursday with 66 people on
board. So, there is still a little real evidence of why that plane went down, but U.S. officials have told...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here's what we know about the plane. We know that it took off from Paris. It should have been a four-hour flight
over here to Egypt and for at least 2 1/2 hours, everything seemed to have been perfectly normal before investigators say there was some sort of wild
gyration or dramatic event and the plane disappeared shortly after it entered Egyptian air space.
So what could make a big plane likes this simply disappear from the sky like that? Well, there are several candidates we look at in every case like
this. The first one is the weather. Can the weather bring down a big plane? Absolutely. It's happened before. Is it likely in this case? No, because
there were no major weather events in the area at the time. So, let's push that a little to the back. What about structural damage? There have been
instances of wings cracking and tails falling off and engines failing. But this plane had just been maintenance so there's no sign of any problem.
We heard no reports in the early part of the flight of the crew saying they had any kind of problem whatsoever because could it happen? I guess, yeah,
but there's no mayday call. Ii doesn't look so positive that that would be a likely candidate. That's why they're looking so hard at the idea of a
deliberate act, the idea that maybe someone on the ground got to this plane and did something to it, or maybe somebody on board the plane could have
Remember, it wasn't full but there were two people up here in the cabin and there were five people back here servicing the passengers, there were three
security people -- we marked them in red here -- then of course there are the passengers themselves. That's a lot of people on board this plane, any
one of whom might have done something even inadvertently if they're handed a package, for example. This is why they're looking so much at the idea of
a deliberate act because the other possibilities, while they must be investigated, right now, just don't seem to be offering many clues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, David Gleave is an independent aviation safety investigator joining me now live from our base in Abu Dhabi. So, Egyptian officials say
they found the debris. How much would they be able to tell about the cause by simply finding what they have to date?
DAVID GLEAVE, INDEPENDENT AVIATION SAFETY INVESTIGATOR: Well, the parts of the airplane the they've found so far is meant to be an aircraft seat. Now,
that would tend to indicate some form of midair breakup rather than the aircraft ditching and then sinking without the ability of the people to get
off the airplane at that point. So, it's starting to look like a midair breakup, but realistically, you can get some information if you find
floating bodies when you start to look at their state of dress or undress.
That tells you how they fell through the sky and there are all sorts of small clues that you can get. But realistically, we need to get to see the
wreckage itself. There will be information coming from the radar analysis as well as to the final decent. So, little bits and pieces, some clues but
won't tell us why and that's what everybody wants to know.
ANDERSON: Of course, busy waterways, a lot of radar coverage. Why hasn't the rest of this plane been found as of yet?
GLEAVE: Well, the -- if it's a midair breakup different parts of the airplane will descend in different ways. You may have, for example, the in-
flight emergency cards which are quite difficult to spot from a ship floating in the general vicinity, but they may have been blown by the wind
in a completely different way from the main wreckage carrying on. It's quite possible that if, for example, the tail unit has fallen off, then
only a small amount of particles will fall off the airplane before the main chunks, if you like, hit the water and sinks. So, if there's major
structural damage before the airplane gets to the water, then it may well sink. It is possible to ditch this airplane as we saw in the Hudson River
and for it to float for quite a long time, but the evidence is that the aircraft went to a very rapid decent so that's not a likely cause.
[11:35:04] ANDERSON: Yeah. So, we need those data flight recorders right, the black boxes. What will be being done to find them and remind us what
the deadline is until they effectively run out of power?
GLEAVE: Well, traditionally the batteries would last around 30 days and they may have been upgraded head towards the 90 day limit. So we've got
about a month from now. It depends on the temperature of the batteries because they last longer in different temperature conditions but they're
guaranteed to last for 28 days.
We may be able to tell some things from the wreckage once it's generally located then there will be obviously under water pictures taken and so we
will get to those some information before we get to recover the boxes.
ANDERSON: Yeah. And when we find them, will they clear everything up for us?
GLEAVE: Not necessarily. It will look at general causes of minor equipment failures where the pilots would be notified on the flight deck of an
indication of something going wrong and then we would have the subsequent actions. If, for example, you look back to Malaysia 17 that was shot out of
the sky, there's almost no useful information whatsoever on the black boxes.
So, in that case, whether it was a missile or bombs and things like that, they're not recording the right parameters and also if the tail comes off
where the boxes are located that servers all the electrical connections to the cockpit and things like that. So, essentially you just stop recording
at that point and having known that everything was fine to that particular point.
ANDERSON: All right. That we're going to leave it there. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. Can you bring back in Arwa Damon for you
tonight? Joining me here outside of Cairo airport where over the past, what, 36 hours, a temporary crisis center was set up for the friends and
families of those who were on board this flight, and they have been visited today by EgyptAir and sent condolences by the Egyptian president and this
investigation now will be wide-scale and wide-ranging.
DAMON: It will be, but it's been especially difficult for the families because they feel as if they're not getting the information that they want
or they need and one just needs to remember how phenomenally unspeakably difficult what they're going through is no one anticipates saying good-bye
to a love one, putting them on a plane, escorting them to the airport and then having them not reach their final destination.
When the families were initially coming here yesterday morning many of them were still in shock, they were trying to come to grips with what happened
as the day wore on, they began becoming more emotional and is becoming even more difficult for them. A lot of the families were completely breaking
down and then earlier today our Ian Lee went and spoke with some of the relatives of the crew members as well as the colleagues of the crew who
perished on this flight.
And many of them alongside their fellow (ph) are also quite angry at the sense that crew was being blamed for this or that EgyptAir and Egypt itself
was somehow being blamed for this. But all of the answers to everybody's questions right now are under the waters of the Mediterranean.
ANDERSON: Absolutely, and as we've been hearing tonight now that this has clearly become a search and recovery effort this could take some time.
DAMON: Which is to be expected, I mean, it's very difficult for these rescue teams that are out there -- for the ships, the aircraft that are out
there -- to actually go and pinpoint exactly where the wreckage is. Then you're going to have to send teams and extract it. It is a long process and
people when they're going through such agony are understandably very impatient.
ANDERSON: You talked about the anger that some have felt to the accusations that they feel have been leveled at the airline, the pilots, for example,
and the country itself. This is a country that is suffering under the weight of terrorism and a leader with a strong arm who is determined, he
says, in the face of accusations from human rights watch -- human rights observers, who say this is too strong an armed regime, what will this
incident do to the psyche of the Egyptian people, do you think?
[11:40:00] DAMON: I think it adds that extra element of pressure that the country really doesn't need right now. I mean, they have been through a
series of governments ever since the fall of Mubarak. They have been through a series of instabilities. They've been through a number of
instances similar to this. They've been confronted with terrorism. They've been confronted with security instability, with economic instability and
now, yes, as a nation they are having to cope with this.
It just adds that extra burden of pressure on to a nation's psyche. You know, having come here over the years, you do feel it when you come and you
speak with Egyptian friends and people you've known over the course of the years. You just see it beginning to take its toll on them because no one
wants to see their country go through this. No one wants to go through these kinds of difficult times and especially when it comes to potential
acts of violence that may have cost the lives of a population, of a family, of loved ones, that is phenomenally difficult to cope with.
And when that does happen, people want answers, they want to know that their government, whether it is Egypt or, you know, France or whichever
nation it is, people want to know if their governments can protect them and when that's taken from them it's very hard.
ANDERSON: Arwa Damon joining me here outside Cairo airport this evening for what is a special "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson and less we
forget the nationalities of those who were on board the flight, the majority of whom were Egyptian nationals, 30, 15 French nationals, and a
number of other nationalities represented on that plane. We will be right back after this short break.
ANDERSON: You are watching CNN and this is a special "Connect the World." live from Cairo with me, Becky Anderson. Welcome back. A grim discovery and
dashed hopes as recovery crews locate human remains in part of an airplane seat in the Mediterranean Sea. Searchers are still trying to find the
fuselage of the airliner. Ships and planes are combing the waters.
The European Space Agency says a satellite may have spotted an oil slick. Still unclear though just what brought the airplane down. At least two U.S.
officials were among those who suspect the plane was brought down by a bomb, but so far no hard evidence to support any cause.
Breaking away from what is our continuing coverage of the EgyptAir plane crash for just a moment to bring you other important news. And we're
getting some new clarification of a claim by the Nigerian army that it has found another Chibok school girl. CNN's David McKenzie is in Abuja, Nigeria
with more. David?
[11:45:00] DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Becky. The Nigerian military earlier said that they had rescued
another one of the Chibok girls. Now those are the girls from the secondary school that were taken more than two years ago -- more than 200 of them
sparking an international outcry. They said they had found one of the girls in a recent operation near the Sambisa Forest.
They said she was amongst some 90 people who had been rescued. But Bring Back our Girls campaigners we had spoken to said, in fact, this girl was
not from that school, she was abducted in Madagali near the Cameroonian border. It's unclear when exactly, but when I put that question to a senior
member of Nigeria's military he said it's not important, in fact, to specify who is rescued, but just that they are rescued and that every human
being's life is important.
More than 2,000 young women and girls have been abducted by Boko Haram according to Amnesty International since 2014. Of course it comes to the
back of the news of the first confirmed case according to most, all in fact, of Amina Ali, a Chibok secondary school member who escaped just days
ANDERSON: David, I think I may just have lost communications with you there for a moment. Apologies for that. I'm not sure that I still have
communications with you. Live from Egypt's capital, you are watching a special edition of "Connect the world." Let me take a very short break and
re-establish with David if we can and get back to you after this.
ANDERSON: Well, that man tried to board the doomed EgyptAir flight but couldn't because as you heard he had his dates mixed up, a mistake that
saved his life. You're watching CNN and this is a special edition of "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson outside of Cairo airport.
Welcome back. Sixty-six people on board the plane when it went down while flying from Paris to Cairo. Now, we are going to take a look at some of
those people and who they were. CNN Brynn Gingras has been gathering information about those passengers and crew and she joins me now from New
York. What have you learned at this stage?
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: ...everyone who was on board, but we do know, again, 66 passengers, 56 of them -- I'm sorry 66 people on board, 56
passengers, 10 crew members. I do want to begin with two of those members, both pilots, and I have their names, Mohammed Saeed Shoukair and his co-
pilot Mohamed Mamdouh Ahmed Assam. Now, both of them we're told had 27 plus hundred hours of flying those planes. They were experienced pilots and
family members do say that they -- they loved and that they loved their jobs, loved doing what they did.
Now also, let's get to the people that were passengers, again, 56 passengers from about a dozen countries, two infants and a child, and a
majority of these passengers were Egyptian nationals. No Americans on board that flight. The first one Ahmed Halal, he was 40 years old and he worked
for Procter & Gamble. He lived in France and he was headed to Egypt to visit his sick father.
Now secondly, we have Mara Hamdy. Now, he was a Canadian national living in Cairo. She had three children and their school put on facebook a message
about Hamdy. She was a devoted and a loving mother and she was a very supportive and she was well loved. Also, Richard Osmond, he was from Wales
and he was living in Paris at the time, a geologist, who took this flight many times. He had two daughters, one of them just 14 months old and we
spoke to his brother.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:50:12] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Richard is a very kind person, loving person, very focused. He was a workaholic and he never deviated from the straight
path. So yeah, he was just, you know, a very admirable person and I think a lot of people admired him for his strength and values.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GINGRAS: And that family member has said that, of course, you have to remember all these passengers on board, they had stories, they had loved
ones that they are now leaving behind. You can imagine the devastation that these families are currently feeling as they are still waiting to get word
of exactly what happened to their loved ones.
ANDERSON: Yeah, of course. Absolutely. Less we forget there were human souls on board. Thank you for that. As early on today, around about mid
day, we know that the French ambassador, for example, met up with the relatives of the French passengers or some of the French passengers who had
arrived here in Cairo hoping for some good news.
Some 24 hours ago, EgyptAir offering their condolences and meeting up with family and friends of those people on board and offering any advice and
help that they could give. Still with me here in Cairo, is H.A. Hellyer, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Middle East center. We have been
discussing tonight not just about how difficult it must be for the family and friends of the victims of this flight as we now know this is a search
and recovery effort rather than a search and rescue effort, but difficult for Egypt too.
HELLYER: Very much so. Egypt's reputation internationally particularly when it comes to tourism isn't particularly good. And this current crisis isn't
something that necessarily says anything about Egyptian security procedures when it comes to tourism, but that won't matter.
It's an EgyptAir flight that went down and that's going to play out in terms of how many people are going to be booking their flights going
forward, and when you have 6 to 7 million people in this country relying on tourism as a primary source of income, that's quite catastrophic and the
tourism industry is already in a very difficult position.
ANDERSON: We talked a little earlier about how transparent the authorities and EgyptAir is trying to be over the last 30 hours, and clearly, you know,
the information has come to the media and to family when they deem it appropriate, but there has clearly been an effort to show some transparency
when in the past, they may have been accused of lacking in transparency and at least with the Metrojet Flight 9268 that went down on the 31st of
October last year.
We did learn earlier on today that the file for this case has moved from the chief prosecutor here, to the state security prosecutor and this was
after we learned that Egypt believed this was likely a terrorist act rather than a technical failure. Were you surprised at how quickly we learned that
and how significant was it that this file is moved so rapidly to what would be a criminal investigation?
HELLYER: I don't think it's particularly surprising because again, I don't think that Cairo perceives that it's necessarily in the public opinion when
it comes to the particular tragedy. When it came to the Russian airline going down, that was different. When it came to the hijacking of the flight
going from here and then eventually landing in Cyprus, it was also different.
There are these flights that took out from Egyptian airports, in this regard, there is a flight that was coming in. So, I think that they don't
feel that sort of pressure. The transferring of the case I think just indicates how serious they take this and how important they think it is on
an international level as well. They will be careful, though, the relationship between Paris and Cairo is an extremely strong one.
It is one that's quite pertinent to regional development as well with regards to Libya or elsewhere, so I think there will be a lot of
coordination between Paris and Cairo on this case, and I think we just have to wait and see over the next few days what other evidence comes about.
ANDERSON: And investigations have been launched at both ends.
ANDERSON: As it were, the Egyptians leading the search and recovery effort -- that is the Egyptian military in concert with a number of other
countries, not least the French, but also the Greek, the U.K., Italy and Cyprus. So far as the debris, it's awful to talk about this, but there will
be now a significant amount of debris that will have to be recovered, is the expectation that the investigation will be conducted here solely in
[11:55:12] HELLYER: I think the Egyptians get to lead but certainly because of the quite good relations that one can see between Cairo and Paris. I
suspect the French will make certain requests and they will probably get what they request, which is to be a part and parcel of the investigation on
the ground. I think that that will be done if concert and in coordination but again, particularly considering the personal relations between Paris
ANDERSON: And with that H.A., we will leave it there but thank you very much, indeed...
HELLYER: Thank you.
ANDERSON: ... for joining us on what has been a very sad day here in Cairo. In the middle of the night, at about 2:30 or so in the timing is being
argued about, but a plane, EgyptAir 804 disappears from radar middle of the night, Wednesday into Thursday. A flight in bound to Cairo from Charles de
Gaulle Airport with 66 people on board disappears from the radar and we find out just now some hours ago, about 40 hours after the event, that
debris has been found and of human part -- body part has been found, that part of an airplane seat has been found and it is clear now of what was a
search and rescue effort has turned into a search and recovery effort.
I'm Becky Anderson. Thank you for joining us for what is a special edition of "Connect the World." Do stay with CNN though, for more on what is our
breaking news coverage of the crashed EgyptAir Flight 804. For the time being from the scene here, it is a very good evening.