A British pilot had to take evasive action to avoid a missile striking a flight to the Egyptian resort area of Sharm el-Sheikh in August, it emerged Saturday.
Reports say the rocket came within 1,000ft of the Thomson plane, but the pilot was able to land safely without telling 189 holidaymakers on board, according to the Daily Mail.
"The pilot was in the cockpit and saw the rocket coming towards the plane. He ordered the flight turn to the left to avoid the rocket, which was about 1,000ft away," a source told the Mail.
"Another Thomson plane was also flying into [Sharm el-Sheikh] at the same time and saw the rocket.
"The crew were told the rocket was from an Egyptian military exercise, but with what has happened there is a lot of fear. The incident left staff petrified."
However, while a spokesperson for the Department for Transport did confirm the incident, they told BuzzFeed News it does not recognise claims that the missile came within 1,000ft.
"The proximity is unknown," they told us.
"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," a government spokesperson said in a statement.
A Thomson spokesperson also confirmed that "an event was reported by the crew of flight TOM 476 on 23 August 2015," Press Association reported.
"Upon landing into Sharm el-Sheikh, an initial assessment was conducted and the event was immediately reported to the UK Department for Transport in line with established protocol," the spokesperson said in a statement.
"The [department] conducted a full investigation in conjunction with other UK government experts. After reviewing the details of the case, the investigation concluded that there was no cause for concern and it was safe to continue our flying programme to Sharm el-Sheikh."
"While the investigation is still ongoing we cannot say categorically why the Russian jet crashed," said a No. 10 spokesperson in a statement on Wednesday. "But as more information has come to light we have become concerned that the plane may well have been brought down by an explosive device."
ISIS militants operating in Sinai have claimed responsibility for the attack. Investigations into its cause continue.
Laura Silver is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Laura Silver at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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