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The Latest: Egypt confirms that Russian passenger plane has crashed in the Sinai peninsula

  • People gather at the airline information desk at of Russian airline Kogalymavia’s desk at Pulkovo airport in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, after a Russian airliner with 217 passengers and seven crew aboard crashed. Russia's civil air agency is expected to have a news conference shortly to talk about the Russian Metrojet passenger plane that Egyptian authorities say has crashed in Egypt's Sinai peninsula. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

    People gather at the airline information desk at of Russian airline Kogalymavia’s desk at Pulkovo airport in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, after a Russian airliner with 217 passengers and seven crew aboard crashed. Russia's civil air agency is expected to have a news conference shortly to talk about the Russian Metrojet passenger plane that Egyptian authorities say has crashed in Egypt's Sinai peninsula. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)  (The Associated Press)

  • Relatives react after a Russian airliner with 217 passengers and seven crew aboard crashed, as people gather at Russian airline Kogalymavia’s information desk at Pulkovo airport in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015. Russia's civil air agency is expected to have a news conference shortly to talk about the Russian Metrojet passenger plane that Egyptian authorities say has crashed in Egypt's Sinai peninsula.(AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

    Relatives react after a Russian airliner with 217 passengers and seven crew aboard crashed, as people gather at Russian airline Kogalymavia’s information desk at Pulkovo airport in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015. Russia's civil air agency is expected to have a news conference shortly to talk about the Russian Metrojet passenger plane that Egyptian authorities say has crashed in Egypt's Sinai peninsula.(AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)  (The Associated Press)

  • Relatives react after a Russian airliner with 217 passengers and seven crew aboard crashed, as people gather at Russian airline Kogalymavia’s information desk at Pulkovo airport in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015. Russia's civil air agency is expected to have a news conference shortly to talk about the Russian Metrojet passenger plane that Egyptian authorities say has crashed in Egypt's Sinai peninsula.(AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

    Relatives react after a Russian airliner with 217 passengers and seven crew aboard crashed, as people gather at Russian airline Kogalymavia’s information desk at Pulkovo airport in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015. Russia's civil air agency is expected to have a news conference shortly to talk about the Russian Metrojet passenger plane that Egyptian authorities say has crashed in Egypt's Sinai peninsula.(AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)  (The Associated Press)

The latest news on a Russian passenger plane that has crashed on a flight from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to St. Petersburg, Russia.

11:15 a.m.

Egypt's Ministry of Civil Aviation has confirmed that a Russian passenger plane has crashed in the Sinai peninsula.

The ministry said earlier Saturday it had lost contact with a Russian aircraft carrying 217 passengers and 7 crew members.

A statement carried by Egypt's state-run MENA news agency says the plane took off from Sinai's Sharm el-Sheikh, a popular destination for Russian tourists, at 5:51 a.m. Saturday and disappeared from radar screens 23 minutes after takeoff.

It said the aircraft was bound for St. Petersburg in Russia. A search and rescue team is looking for the plane.