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EgyptAir disaster victim Richard Osman had just become dad again

Egyptian authorities say Mediterranean crash probably terrorism

By PA Reporters

A British man who died in yesterday’s air crash off Greece was a kind and loving father who had just welcomed a new baby into the world less than a month ago.

Richard Osman, from Wales, was described by his brother Alastair as a workaholic and admirable person who “never deviated from the straight path”.

Mr Osman told ITV News: “Richard has two kids. He was a very kind person, loving person. A lot of people admired him for his strength and values.

“He’s a new dad. A dad for the second time now, and I know that would have filled him with love and joy. It’s funny how quickly things change.”

Mr Osman also told how his brother let him know of the birth of his second child just over three weeks ago. “He texted to tell me I’m an uncle for a second time on April 27,” he explained.

Richard was a passenger on the EgyptAir flight that had 56 passengers and 10 crew on board when it went down near Crete while flying from Paris to Cairo. The plane spun all the way around and lost altitude before vanishing from radar.

Search teams yesterday scoured the suspected crash area for traces of survivors or the plane, but nothing was found.

Earlier reports of the discovery of floating lifejackets and debris were dismissed.

Egypt’s civil aviation minister Sherif Fathi said the disaster was still under investigation but that the possibility it was a terror attack “is higher than the possibility of a technical failure”.

Alexander Bortnikov, chief of Russia’s top domestic security agency, added: “In all likelihood it was a terror attack.”

Asked about why Mr Osman was on the flight, his brother said: “He would have been going to work, I assume. I know he works in Egypt and another country in Africa.

“He’s been doing this for years in the gold mining industry. This was a regular trip. He used to do it at least once a month.

“This is the reality of Isis and groups like that. It’s indiscriminate. They don’t think any of these people have family members, or a past, or a history of hopes and dreams. It’s indiscriminate.”

According to the Carmarthen Journal, Mr Osman was 40 and a former pupil at the local Queen Elizabeth High School who had family in the Swansea area.

The newspaper said Mr Osman was the son of the late Fekri Osman, a founder of the Werndale private hospital in Bancyfelin.

His father moved to Wales from his native Egypt to work as a consultant in ear, nose and throat surgery in Singleton Hospital, Swansea, it added.

The Journal also claimed that Mr Osman was a qualified geologist and worked for exploration and research companies in a career that involved him regularly travelling the world.

Among those on board the jet were a child and two babies, EgyptAir said, adding that the 56 passengers also included 30 Egyptians, 15 French, two Iraqis and one each from Britain, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria, Canada, Belgium, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

The Airbus A320 was built in 2003 and was flying at 37,000ft when it began to fall.

Its airline tweeted that the pilot had logged 6,275 flying hours, including 2,101 hours on the A320, and that the co-pilot had logged 2,766 hours.

There was confusion over whether a distress signal had been sent by the Airbus A320.

Egypt’s civil aviation authority said one was received at 4.26am local time, believed to be an automated message rather than one sent by the pilot.

However, in a statement on its website, the Egyptian military later said it had received no distress message from the aircraft.

After the crash French President Francois Hollande held an emergency meeting at the Elysee Palace.

He also spoke with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi by telephone and agreed to “closely co-operate to establish as soon as possible the circumstances” surrounding the disaster, according to a statement.

Belfast Telegraph


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