Pharmacist May Have Been Passenger on Missing EgyptAir Plane

One of the passengers on EgyptAir flight MS804 that crashed in the Mediterranean Sea may have been a pharmacist.

One of the passengers on EgyptAir flight MS804 that crashed in the Mediterranean Sea may have been a pharmacist.

Egyptian pharmacist Ahmad Ashary and his wife were 2 of the 66 individuals on the flight, according to an Arab media outlet called Al Arabiya.

About 3 months ago, Ashary allegedly sold his apartment and car in Egypt in order to afford treatment in Paris, France, for his wife of 8 years, who was battling cancer, according to the media outlet. Their 3 young children were being cared for by Ashary’s parents while they sought treatment in France.

Ashary’s wife reportedly recovered in Paris and became cancer-free. Three days ago, Ashary called his parents to say they were returning to Egypt on May 19, 2016, according to Al Arabiya.

EgyptAir released a statement on May 20, 2016, that the Egyptian Armed Forces found debris from the missing aircraft, which was supposed to fly from Paris to Cairo. The airline reported that the military and marine forces had found debris, passengers’ belongings, body parts, luggage, and aircraft seats. The search is ongoing.

The debris was found around 183 miles from the coast of Egypt. The plane lost contact with radar above the Mediterranean Sea around 2:30 AM on May 19, 2016. The plane was scheduled to arrive at the Cairo airport at 3:15 AM.

“EgyptAir sincerely conveys its deepest sorrow to the families and friends of the passengers on-board Flight MS804,” the airline’s statement read. “We extend our deepest sympathies to those affected and have engaged international emergency support group Kenyon to assist with care for those touched by this tragedy.”

The jetliner apparently dropped from cruising altitude, swerved, and flew in a circle before it disappeared, Greek defense minister Panos Kammenos said in a news conference on May 19, 2016.

The pilot spoke with Greek traffic controllers around 1:48 AM and sounded normal, The New York Times reported. However, at 2:27 AM, the controllers couldn’t communicate with the plane any longer, and at 2:29 AM, the plane left Greek airspace and the controllers could no longer locate the plane.

Egypt’s minister of civil aviation, Sherif Fathi, said terrorism was more likely than a mechanical issue, but at this time, there’s no clear evidence on what caused the plane to disappear, The New York Times reported.

No terrorist or militant group has taken responsibility for the crash.

Egypt, Britain, Cyprus, France, Greece, and Italy are involved in the search and recovery teams. The US Navy deployed a P-3 Orion long-range aircraft to assist in the search.