CAIRO - Egypt's civil aviation ministry said on Tuesday there were no facts to substantiate assertions by Russian officials that the Russian airliner that crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Saturday broke up in mid-air.
But spokesman Mohamed Rahmi confirmed that no distress call had been received before the crash, which left wreckage from the Metrojet Airbus 321, carrying Russian holidaymakers back to St Petersburg from the Sinai Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, strewn over more than 3 km (2 miles) of desert.
"No communication from the pilot was recorded at the navigation centres requesting anything," he told Reuters.
Rahmi said the investigating team, led by Egypt and aided by experts from Russia, Airbus and Ireland, where the plane is registered, had returned to the crash site on Tuesday morning.
Once investigations at the site were completed, probably later in the day, they would focus on analyzing the contents of the black box flight recorders, Rahmi said.