(Bloomberg) — A Russian airliner that crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula killing all 224 people on board appears to have broken up in midair, scattering debris over an area of rugged terrain up to 20 kilometers wide, according to an aviation official.

Viktor Sorochenko, executive director of the Interstate Aviation Committee, which includes nearly a dozen ex-Soviet states including Russia, told reporters after a visit to the crash site that it was still too early to say what had caused the disaster, according to Interfax. Egypt's President Abdel- Fattah El-Sisi said the investigation must be allowed to run its course.

The Metrojet Airbus A321 crashed on Saturday just 23 minutes after taking off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm El- Sheik, bound for St. Petersburg. Egyptian officials have indicated technical issues were the cause, and have dismissed a claim of responsibility issued by the Islamic State's Sinai affiliate. The flight's "black box" recorders have been recovered and are being studied.

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