Brits say passenger jet dodged a missile in Egypt this year
A British passenger jet with 189 people aboard reported having to avoid a missile in the same area where the Russian plane went down last week. The incident occurred earlier this year, according to the reports.
The British government confirmed that the incident occurred but said it was probably connected to "routine exercises" carried out by the Egyptian military.
A British passenger jet headed to the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh narrowly "dodged" a missile in August, the UK media reported following a Russian jet crash in the same area this week.
The Thomson Airways jet with 189 people aboard took off from London and was headed to the Red Sea resort, according to The Guardian.
It said the jet came within 1,000 feet of a missile in its trajectory August 23, and went on to land safely. The paper said passengers were kept in the dark about the incident.
A UK government spokesman confirmed the media reports, but he did not provide any specifics.
"We investigated the reported incident at the time and concluded that it was not a targeted attack and was likely to be connected to routine exercises being conducted by the Egyptian military in the area at the time," the spokesman said in a statement.
In a statement, Thomson Airways said "an event was reported by the crew of flight TOM 476" on August 23. The statement did not describe the event, but said an investigation "concluded there was no cause for concern" and it was safe to fly into Sharm el-Sheikh.
Is the Egyptian military so incompetent that they'd casually fire off a missile with a passenger plane within 10 miles of the "exercise," much less 1,000 feet? If a missile did come within 1,000 feet of a passenger plane, it is a stretch to spin that as part of a "routine exercise."
The airline pulled a Kevin Bacon and downplayed the notion of a terror attack, telling the flying public it was safe to fly into an airport suspected of harboring someone who assisted terrorists in getting a bomb on board the Russian plane. But a missile within 1,000 feet of a passenger jet is a huge deal, and questions should be raised with the British government and the airline as to why the incident was covered up.