Debris Suggests Russian Airliner Disintegrated While Aloft, Officials Say

November 2, 2015 2:09 AM

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PARIS — The Airbus A321-200 had just reached a cruising altitude of about 33,000 feet when, around 20 minutes after taking off from the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, it suddenly plummeted by some 6,000 feet.

Over the next 20 seconds, the airliner, which was en route to St. Petersburg, Russia, abruptly climbed and descended several times before radar contact was lost, according to preliminary transponder data published by, a commercial company that tracks airline routes.

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