UPDATE: Burkina official says plane wreckage found in Mali

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — A Burkina Faso official says the wreckage of the Air Algerie plane that went missing has been found in Mali.

Gen. Gilbert Diendere says the wreckage was located about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the border of Burkina Faso near the village of Boulikessi in Mali.

Diendere is a close aide to President Blaise Compaore and head of the crisis committee set up to coordinate research for the plane that vanished Thursday in a rainstorm over northern Mali.

He says searchers found human remains and burned and scattered plane wreckage.


Previous story:

Officials say heavy rain has been reported in the area where a plane carrying 116 people disappeared from radar today over the African country of Mali. The Air Algerie flight was on its way from neighboring Burkina Faso to Algeria.

France's transport minister says the crew's last message asked air control to change the plane's route because of the heavy rains in the area.

The plane was being operated by the Spanish airline Swiftair. Burkina Faso's transport minister says 50 French nationals were among those on board.

The plane had been missing for hours before the news was made public.

Mali is between Burkina Faso and Algeria. Unrest has plagued the northern part of Mali in recent years. But a senior French official says it seems unlikely that fighters in Mali would have the kind of weapons that could shoot down a plane.


Previous story:

An Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers has disappeared from radar on a flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers, the official Algerian news agency said Thursday.

Air navigation services lost track of the plane 50 minutes after takeoff early Thursday, last sited at 0155 GMT, the agency said.

"In keeping with procedures, Air Algerie has launched its emergency plan," the agency quoted the airline as saying.

The flight path of Flight AH5017 from Ouagadougou, the capital of the west African nation of Burkina Faso, to Algiers was not immediately clear.

Ougadougou is in a nearly straight line south of Algiers, passing over Mali where unrest continues in the north.


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