There were no signs of survivors. Conflicting reports emerged about the wreckage of the plane. EgyptAir has said that Egyptian Foreign Ministry has "confirmed finding the wreckage".

"The Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation has just received an official letter from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that confirms the finding of wreckage of the missing aircraft No MS 804 near Karpathos Island," the airliner said in a statement.

Karpathos is the second largest of the Greek Dodecanese islands, in the southeastern Aegean Sea.

"Family members of passengers and crew have been already informed and we extend our deepest sympathies to those affected. The Egyptian Investigation Team in co-operation with the Greek counterpart are still searching for other remains of the missing plane, it said.

Greek state television ERT reported that debris had been spotted some 425 km from Crete, about 100 nautical miles from the Airbus A320's last known location. A Greek frigate also discovered two large plastic floating objects and two life jackets in a sea area 370 kilometres south of the island of Crete.

However, later today senior Greek air safety official said debris found so far in Mediterranean does not belong to the aircraft, according to AFP.

Egypt's Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi told a news conference that a "terror" attack was a more probable explanation for the disappearance of the EgyptAir flight than technical failure.

Asked whether a technical failure was behind the crash, Fathi said, "On the contrary...if you thoroughly analyze the situation, the possibility of having a different action or a terror attack, is higher than the possibility of having a technical failure."

"We don't deny the possibility of a terror attack or a technical error," Fathi.

The plane was carrying 56 passengers -- including three children -- seven crew members and three security personnel.

Apart from 30 Egyptians, the plane was carrying 15 French passengers, two Iraqis and one each from Britain, Belgium, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria and Canada.

Earlier, French President Francois Hollande confirmed that the EgyptAir Airbus A320 had "crashed".

"We must ensure that we know everything on the causes of what happened. No hypothesis is ruled out or favoured," Hollande said in a televised address.

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