Travellers still strapped in their seats were sucked from the stricken Airbus A321 through a hole at the back of the Russian passenger jet when the tail blew off 23 minutes after leaving the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh on Saturday, airline bosses have claimed. The jet also lurched up and down before plunging 31,000 feet after being blown apart by an 'external impact', officials believe. The plane twice abruptly climbed nearly 3,000 feet in three seconds before falling 3,000 feet
moments later in the final minutes before disappearing from radar.
As the first coffins of the victims - who included 17 children - were taken home to Russia on Monday and the families of the victims mourned their loss (inset), David Cameron said security officials were 'looking very carefully' at whether there was any safety risk to British holidaymakers travelling to the Red Sea (graphic, right, shows terrorist danger zones). US officials have this morning claimed an American infrared satellite detected a heat flash on the route the aircraft was taking seconds before the plane fell from the sky. The data does not show the sudden burst of ferocious heat travelling at any time - as would be the case had a ground-to-air missile been launched in the airliner's direction - suggesting either a bomb on board, or an explosion in a fuel tank or engine.
....may the souls of the victims rest in peace