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'A Noise Was Heard' In Last Second Of Cockpit Recording, Egypt Says

The head of Egypt's commission investigating last week's crash of a Russian airliner says the jet broke apart in the air, 23 minutes and 14 seconds after taking off. But Ayman al-Muqaddam also says parts of the wreckage are still missing, and that it's still too soon to determine a cause for the crash.

Citing a wide debris field that stretches more than 8 miles, Muqaddam says his commission has concluded Metrojet 9268 broke up in the air — and that they're still analyzing the last second of the cockpit voice recording, in which he says "a noise was heard."

A spectral analysis will be used to figure out what caused that noise, Muqaddam says, delivering a news conference Saturday afternoon in Cairo, local time.

Saying that "all scenarios are being considered," Muqaddam also warned against jumping to conclusions about what caused the crash that killed all 224 people aboard. In recent days, U.S. and British officials have said they suspect a bomb may have been aboard the plane.

Russian officials have been skeptical of an Islamic State affiliate's claim of responsibility for the crash. But on Friday, the country joined Britain and other nations in suspending air service to the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Investigators from both Egypt and Russia have been working on the crash in the Sinai Peninsula, along with other experts from other countries, including France and Germany, Muqaddam says.

Today's update follows reports in August, a British passenger jet flying into Sharm el-Sheikh had been forced to take evasive action after a missile passed near it.

After that incident, "The British government investigated and concluded the incident had been linked to routine activity by the Egyptian military was not a 'targeted attack,' " the BBC reports.

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