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Monday, 02 November 2015 - 16:00
Sinai crash: first bodies arrive in Russia as officials say plane broke up in air
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Family members have provided DNA to help identify 140 of the victims flown home to St Petersburg on Monday

The bodies of 140 of the people killed when a Russian airliner crashed in Egypt’s Sinai desert have begun arriving back home in Saint Petersburg as Russian officials confirmed the aircraft broke up in the air.

The crash killed all 224 people onboard after disaster struck at high altitude, prompting aviation experts to speculate that a sudden mechanical failure or a midair explosion could have been to blame.

The remains of victims were to be taken in a motorcade to a crematorium in Saint Petersburg for identification, which began later on Monday, according to Russia’s emergency ministry, which organized the flight.

In Egypt, investigators had rushed to the scene of the wreckage after the crash where 163 bodies had been recovered by Sunday afternoon. Some were found several miles away from the twisted and blackened remains of the Airbus A321. Many personal effects were strewn about with the wreckage in the desert.

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