Russia has started bringing home the bodies of the victims from the passenger plane crash in Egypt.

A government plane brought bodies of 144 passengers to St. Petersburg's Pulkovo airport early on Monday morning.

The Metrojet Airbus A321-200 crashed in the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday morning, 23 minutes after taking off from the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh en route to St. Petersburg. All 224 people on board were killed, an overwhelming majority of passengers were Russian.

Russian news agencies say the government will be dispatching a second plane to bring back more remains later on Monday.

Monday has been declared a nationwide day of morning in Russia.