Air Algerie Flight Reported Missing With 116 on Board

Algeria’s national airline, Air Algerie, says it has lost contact with one of its planes flying from Burkina Faso to Algiers across the Sahara.

Contact was lost about 50 minutes after take-off from Ouagadougou, the airline said. The passenger airliner was last seen at 01:55 GMT, it added. It should have landed at 05:10.

Flight AH 5017 had 110 passengers and six crew on board, Spanish airline Swiftair,which owns the plane, said. “In keeping with procedures, Air Algerie has launched its emergency plan,” Air Algerie officials, quoted by APS news agency (in French), said.

UN troops in Mali say they understand the plane came down between Gao and Tessalit, the BBC’s Alex Duval Smith in the Malian capital Bamako reports. Brigadier General Koko Essien, who is leading the UN troops, told the BBC that the area leading up to the Algerian border was vast and sparsely populated.

He added that weather in the area had been bad overnight. Armed groups are also said to be active in the area. However, at the moment the most probable scenario looks like a plane that came down in bad weather, our correspondent adds.
-BBC

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