An Air Algerie flight flying from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso to Algiers has reportedly crashed in Mali Thursday, July 24, an Algerian aviation official said.
“I can confirm that it has crashed,” the unnamed official told Reuters, but he did not provide details about why the plane went down.
According to CNN, Air Algerie’s Flight 5017 lost radar contact over Northern Mali around 1:55 a.m. local time (9:55 a.m. EDT), 50 minutes after it took off. The plane was carrying 110 passengers, two pilots and four crew members.
The plane, an MD-83, belongs to Swiftair, a private Spanish company, and was operated by Air Algerie.
“At this moment, emergency services and our staff are working on finding out more on this situation,” Swiftair said.
Early reports said many French might have been on the missing plane, so France has been actively getting more information on the flight. According to Daily News, “The list of passengers includes: 51 French, 27 Burkina Faso nationals, eight Lebanese, six Algerians, five Canadians, four Germans, two Luxembourg nationals, one Swiss, one Belgium, one Egyptian, one Ukrainian, one Nigerian, one Cameroonian and one Malian.”
“We are entirely mobilized in Paris as well as in Algiers and Ouagadougou where our embassies are in constant contact with local authorities and the airline,” the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
USA Today reported that since the plane disappeared over Mali, where fights are taking place against Malian government and French forces, there are suspicions of Islamist fighters shooting down it.
However, a senior French official said it is not very possible that the Malian fighters had weapons that could shoot down a plane.
There have been a lot of reports about plane crashes this week, including the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and the TransAsia Airways Flight GE222.