July 24, 2014
An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital has crashed in Niger.
"I can confirm that it has crashed," an Algerian aviation official said on Thursday.
The unnamed official declined to provide details as to the location of the plane or what had caused the accident.
The plane disappeared from radar early Thursday nearly an hour after take-off and reported crashed after crossing the airspace of Niger's capital Niamey, according to a report by the Algerian television.
The plane was travelling from Guaga-dugu in Burkina Faso to the Algerian capital city of Algiers, the report said.
Minutes after take-off the flight had requested to change route because of storm, said Burkina Faso's Transport Minister.
The airlines' representative in Burkina Faso said 50 passengers of the 116 people onboard are French.
French transport minister Frederic Cuvillier has said the Air Algerie flight vanished over northern Mali.
Meanwhile, aviation sources described the aircraft as a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 leased from Spanish company Swiftair, whose six-member crew were all Spanish.
"The plane disappeared at Gao (in Mali), 500 kilometers (300 miles) from the Algerian border. Several nationalities are among the victims," Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal was quoted as saying by Algerian radio. One of Algeria's worst air disasters occurred in February this year, when a C-130 military aircraft carrying 78 people crashed in poor weather in the mountainous northeast, killing more than 70 people.