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EgyptAir Flight MS804 crash: Here's what you need to know

An EgyptAir flight carrying 66 people vanished from radar and crashed into the Mediterranean Sea, officials said early Thursday.

Here's what we know so far:

>>The latest coverage of EgyptAir MS804

1. The latest: More wreckage of the missing plane has been found, including body parts, passengers' belongings and passengers' seats, an EgyptAir official said around 4:50 p.m. local Cairo time Friday.

 Earlier in the day, an Egyptian military spokesman confirmed that officials found debris and luggage from the missing flight 180 miles north of the city of Alexandria. EgyptAir confirmed the news on social media.

The debris was found roughly five miles south of the area where the plane disappeared from radar around 2:45 a.m. local time Thursday.

One day earlier, Greek officials said they found two orange items believed to be from the missing plane. EgyptAir officials announced wreckage was found Thursday evening local time. Greek air safety officials later said the debris does not belong to a plane.

2. What happened? EgyptAir Flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo went missing about 2:45 a.m. Thursday local time, The Associated Press reports. Greece's defense minister said the plane, which reportedly was flying at 37,000 feet, lost altitude and made abrupt turns before it disappeared from radar. It was 10 miles into Egyptian airspace and about 175 miles north of Alexandria. 

While EgyptAir said via social media that "the reason of disappearance hasn't been yet confirmed" an official later said "terror was a strong possibility" for the crash.  There was no distress call, Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail told Egypt's state news agency. French President Francois Hollande added that "no hypothesis can be ruled out.

>> PHOTOS: EgyptAir Flight MS804 disappears over Mediterranean

3. What type of aircraft was it? The plane was an Airbus A320 manufactured in 2003, EgyptAir saidAccording to CNN, planes in the A320 family can carry up to 180 passengers. While International Bureau of Aviation President Phil Seymour said the planes have  "a fantastic safety record," there have been over a dozen crashes involving the A320.  

>>History of crashes involving Airbus A320

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4. Who was on board? According to EgyptAir, 56 passengers and 10 crew members were on the plane, including 30 Egyptians, 15 French, two Iraqis, and one each from Britain, Belgium, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria and Canada. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion said in a statement that two Canadians were on the flight.

 Among the passengers were one child and two babies, the AP reports.

One of the Canadians on the flight was identified by EgyptAir as Marwa Hamdy. No other details on Hamdy were provided.

The British passenger was identified by multiple outlets as 40-year-old Richard Osman, a Welsh-born geologist. 

In a statment, Kuwait's Foreign Ministry said Abdulmohsen al-Muteiri was on the flight. The Guardian reported al-Muteiri, a father of two, worked as a professor of economics and was headed to Cairo for a conference.

Family members told the newspaper Samar Ezzeldin, 27, was among the seven Egyption cabin crew members on the flight. She had recently gotten married.

French officials and Proctor & Gamble identified one of the passengers as Ahmed Helal, a plant manager at Procter & Gamble in Amiens, France.

According to CNN, others on the plane included Amgad Adib, a businessman in his late 40s, and Joao David e Silva, a 62-year-old father of four.

>> RELATED: The most famous, deadliest, oddest hijackings and how they ended

5. What do we know about the pilots? EgyptAir said the pilot had 6,275 flying hours, including 2,101 in the Airbus 320, and the co-pilot had 2,766.

The pilot was identified as 36-year-old Mohamed Saeed Shaqeer, The New York Times reported. His co-pilot was identified as 24-year-old Mohamed Mamdouh.

"An Egyptian Interior Ministry official said the men had no known political affiliations, and had passed their periodic background security checks," according to the Times.

>> RELATED: Timeline: 12 aviation mysteries

6. The investigation: The investigation is ongoing and likely to focus on finding the plane's black box. Aviation experts claim that it is likely terrorism is involved, but all scenarios are being examined.

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/report-573d2c3ed7a8a13e588331d8/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/report-573d2c3ed7a8a13e588331d8.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script>[View the story "Reports: EgyptAir Flight 804 crash" on Storify]

Shocking video: Look what these kids decided to do for fun in dangerous Houston floodwaters

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At least seven people have died and 1,200 have needed rescuing due to the flooding in and around Houston, Texas, this week, but that didn’t stop these kids from testing the waters.

KTRK posted video of a group of youngsters in bathing suits gathered around a drain. They decided to tie a rope to an inner tube and take turns riding it.

>> PHOTOS: Massive flooding in Houston

"We know school's out today, but kids, this is really a BAD idea," the station's Facebook post reads.

>> Click here to see the post

The reaction on social media was basically, "Where are the parents?"

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"This is the kind of nonsense that can quickly turn you into a fatality statistic!" KTRK meteorologist Travis Herzog wrote on Facebook. "Parents, do not let your children underestimate the deadly power of moving water! One foot of water moving at just 10 mph exerts the same force as a 280 mph wind! Let that sink in."

Dog, caught in Florida tornado, returned home to owners

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Instead of getting caught in a tornado and being swept to Oz like Toto, this dog landed back at home safely.

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Priscilla, a 3-pound Yorkie, was thought to be lost when a tornado hit Cape Coral, Florida last week, but while her owners were being treated for injuries, the dog was found nearby by neighbors, WBBH reports. The dog was found under a downed tree branch about 400 yards away from its home.

"I was out there screaming, walking through broken glass, just screaming, 'My baby, my baby,'" said owner Jenny Schlachter. "She means the world to me."

Schlachter and her husband had to be treated for injuries sustained during the tornado, but neighbor John Higginson was able to find Priscilla and bring her back home.

"She didn't run over here, she flew over here," Higginson told WBBH. "When he brought her through that front door I couldn't believe it," Schlachter added.

Higginson said Schlachter was beyond happy to be re-united with her pet. "From here to there we can hear her saying, 'My baby,'" he said. "She was so excited she had her baby alive." The tornado touched down in Cape Coral on Saturday night.

Read more at here.

 

NBC-2.com WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral

TV news anchors talk to flood victim stuck in tree during live broadcast

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At least six people died during flooding in Texas last week.

The heavy rain and flash floods caught a lot of drivers off guard, including a man who called in to KVUE-TV during their live newscast Friday.

>> Read more trending stories

Kerry Packer explained to the anchors that his car was swept away by flood waters and that he had to climb a tree to get out.

The anchors had no idea they were going to be talking to a man still in a fight for his life. Both of them were stunned as Packer explained his precarious situation.

Throughout the duration of the conversation, Packer spoke quite calmly considering his situation. He casually told the anchors that it looked like he was "in the middle of a lake."

Mobile device users can watch the video here.

5 dead after Canadian whale-watching boat sinks

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At least five people died when a whale-watching vessel capsized Sunday afternoon off the coast of British Columbia.

It sank near Tofino on Vancouver Island.

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Authorities told Canadian news outlets a search and rescue mission was underway.

Rescuers said there were 27 people on board when the boat, from Jamie's Whaling Station and Adventure Centres, sank. Officials told The Associated Press that 18 people were hospitalized in stable condition.

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria received a mayday call from the boat around 4 p.m. PT. 

>> Click here or scroll down to see images from the scene

This video includes images from Rami Touffaha Burnaby Tours and Charters.

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/5-dead-after-canadian-whale-watching-boat-sinks/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/5-dead-after-canadian-whale-watching-boat-sinks.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script>[View the story "5 dead after Canadian whale-watching boat sinks" on Storify]

Bad idea: Man tries to use van full of ammo to put out fire

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A patrolling deputy was surprised to see a van smoldering in the middle of a field blackened by fire. He was more surprised when he heard the sound of ammunition exploding inside.

A closer check reveals the incident involves a moment the driver is likely to rethink.

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The Kansas City Star reports the deputy found the vehicle’s owner watching helplessly. He explained the fire came from trash he was burning in the field. When the fire got out of control, he decided to extinguish the flames by driving his van back and forth through the fire.

Not the best of ideas.

As the van’s tires caught fire the driver realized he also had a full gas tank and the cargo area was crammed with ammo. He decided to bail and called the fire department who showed up but could only keep a safe distance and contain the fire. 

The owner wasn’t cited and Clay County spokesman Joe Bazzano told the paper, he didn't think this will go to an insurance company.

“It seems like he’s just going to have to take a loss on that vehicle because I don’t think they’re going to cover it.”

More here.  

Texas fire destroys 34 homes, only 25% contained

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A massive fire has destroyed dozens of homes and is only a quarter contained.

Bastrop County officials in Texas have confirmed that 34 homes and structures have been lost in the Hidden Pines fire.

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The amount of homes lost has multiplied since Wednesday, but firefighters appeared to be making progress with the fire’s containment, which is now estimated at 25 percent. It has burned 4,383 acres.

Weather conditions have been more favorable for battling the fire, with relative humidity rising to 23 percent. The stronger winds expected Thursday afternoon did not materialize, Bastrop County officials said.

Meanwhile, the Texas A&M Forest Service has called in a DC-10 air tanker that can drop close to 12,000 gallons of retardant at a time to help battle the wildfire.

The tanker can spread retardant over a swath three-quarters of a mile long and 500 feet wide. The Very Large Air Tanker, or VLAT, is flying in from the West Coast and expected to be available Friday.

The city of Austin’s Animal Services office is assisting Bastrop County in housing pets from homes threatened by the Hidden Pines fire.

Already, Austin animal shelters have taken in 90 pets from the Bastrop County shelter to make room for animals brought in from homes that have been evacuated because of the fire. As of Thursday morning, the Bastrop County shelter had taken in 50 pets from families whose homes were in danger, according to the Austin officials.

“The best way for people to help Bastrop animals is to adopt from one of Austin’s shelters or rescue partners,” said Erica Thompson, Bastrop County Animal Services office director. “Additionally, at this time the Bastrop shelter is not in harm’s way so we could also use volunteer support to help walk dogs and assist with kennel cleaning.”

Austin Animal Services has also provided the Bastrop County shelter with more than 100 crates and kennels and has veterinarians and other staff on call to assist.

“We are glad to help our Bastrop County neighbors,” said Tawny Hammond, Austin’s Chief Animal Services Officer. “We need the public’s help. Adopt in Austin to help Bastrop.” 

Federal aid will be sent to Bastrop County to fight the Hidden Pines fire, with more firefighters arriving sometime Friday, state officials said.

More emergency personnel from Florida and Georgia has already been committed, officials said.

“This fire has national attention now,” Texas Emergency Management Assistant Director Nim Kidd said.

Additional resources also have arrived from the U.S. Army, including two more Black Hawk helicopters and two cargo-lifting Chinook helicopters, officials said. They will dump large buckets of water over the fire. Black Hawks dumped about 110,000 gallons of water on the fire Wednesday, county officials said.

Already, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved a grant that will reimburse up to 75 percent of money spent fighting the fire, Kidd said.

Government officials, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and state Sen. Kirk Watson of Austin, assembled Thursday morning near Buescher State Park north of Smithville to announce the disaster declaration that opens the door to FEMA aid.

“We grieve for the families and the homeowners who were displaced by this,” Abbott said. “This has to be an echo of a nightmare they faced just a few years ago.”

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