Families of passengers on EgyptAir Flight 804 desperate for information
CAIRO — It’s an all-too-familiar scene — the worry, the tears, the lack of information, the frustration, the anger.
Little is known so far about the fate of the passengers on the EgyptAir plane that went missing early Thursday somewhere between Paris and Cairo.
More than 30 relatives of passengers on the plane arrived at Cairo International Airport to await word about EgyptAir Flight 804. They gathered at the EgyptAir In-Flight Center, where doctors and translators were available — but, they say, little information was given.
One man said he had four family members aboard the flight. But authorities attempted to shield relatives from the media, and talking to them directly was nearly impossible.
A priest, Father Athanious, found out about the crash from news organizations. At the airport, his worst fear was confirmed: His friend Amgad Adib was on board.
“He was like a brother and a son to me,” the priest told journalists as he left the Cairo airport’s special hall.
Adib was in his late 40s, a charitable businessman, the priest said.
Father Athanious said he learned on TV that debris was found. An EgyptAir executive later confirmed to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that wreckage had been located.
“We learn from other countries what happened,” one man screamed to journalists.
He was entering the hall dedicated to families with about six men late Thursday afternoon. Dressed in the traditional galabyas, the men were distraught. They didn’t reveal the name of their loved ones believed to be on the plane. They were angry about the lack of information.
“My son,” one of the men screamed, his tired voice, preventing him from finishing the sentence.
Other people took to social media to express their grief, their worries and their hopes.
One man who called himself Mohamed Khalf asked for prayers.
“Kindly Pray for Egyptair Flight MS804…I have a friend on that plane,” the tweet said.
According to a list from EgyptAir, the 56 passengers included 30 Egyptians, 15 French nationals, one Briton, one Kuwaiti, one Saudi, one Chadian, one Portuguese from Algeria, one Canadian and one Sudanese.
Some family members said the information to date has been far too sparse.
One family left the Cairo family holding room and complained, with anger and tears, there was no information about what had happened or who had been on the flight.
And British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond tweeted his concern over a Briton aboard the plane. He did not name the person.