Air Algerie Flight #AH5017 Crashes In Mali Due To Bad Weather, 116...

Air Algerie Flight #AH5017 Crashes In Mali Due To Bad Weather, 116 On Board

By Wires | The Trent on July 24, 2014
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File Photo

An Air Algerie flight with 116 people on board has dropped off radar, prompting a search for the missing plane, the airline’s operator said today.

Flight 5017 lost radar contact 50 minutes after takeoff from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. It was supposed to have arrived at Algiers’ Houari Boumediene Airport a few hours later.

The plane is an MD-83. It was carrying 110 passengers, two pilots and four crew members. A private Spanish company, Swiftair, operates the plane for Air Algerie.

Update at 12:41 Nigerian Time:

It is believed contact with the flight was lost while it was still in Malian airspace approaching the border with Algeria.

A statement from Swiftair read: “Swiftair informs that an MD83 of this company, operated by Air Algerie, took off from Burkina Faso at 0117 Z for Algiers and expected arrival time 0510 Z but has not reached its destination. Until now there has been no contact with the aircraft.

“At this moment, emergency equipment and personnel of the company are working to find out what happened and as we get more details about what happened we will issue new releases.”

There are 110 passengers and six crew members on board.

Update at 12:45 Nigerian Time:

There are unconfirmed reports that the Algerie plane crashed in Niger Republic.

Update at 12:53 Nigerian Time:

According to BBC, the United Nations believe that the plane crashed in Mali.

Update at 12:57 Nigerian Time:

The disappeared Air Algerie flight AH5017 has crashed in Niger after flying through violent storms, it has been confirmed.

Algerian television station Elnahar confirmed the plane went down due to bad weather.

The region was badly affected by violent storms and it was earlier said the plane was rerouted while it was flying over Mali.

The plane crashed after passing the capital of Niger and it is presumed all 116 people on board have been killed. The flight was said to have been found near Niamey, the capital of Niger.

There were six crew members, mostly Spanish, and 110 passengers, comprising mainly French people, when the plane went down.

The flight, which departed from the Burkinan capital city of Ouagadougou, lost contact with ground control while it was cruising above Malian airspace and was said to be an hour away from the Algerian border.

The flight was scheduled to land at its destination at about 05:10 local time but there was no communication with the ground, despite officials trying to make contact for six hours.

Updated at 13:19 Nigerian Time:

Here’s an incredible weather map by expert Simon Proud that shows the strength of the storm at the time that the plane disappeared.

The green patches show that the clouds would have been up to 49,500ft – cruising altitude is around 35,000ft.

Mr Proud added: “If reports that #AH5017 came down in NE Mali are correct then it may have flown through remnants of deep convective system near #Gao”

Updated at 16:22 Nigerian Time:

An Air Algerie flight with at least 116 people on board that dropped off radar is thought to have crashed in Mali, the flight operator said.

Air Algerie said via Twitter that the plane has apparently crashed in the Tilemsi area, about 70 kilometers (43 miles) from the southeastern city of Gao.

An airport official confirmed to NBC News that wreckage from the plane had been located in neighboring Mali. According to the airport’s Facebook page, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s niece, Mariela, was among the passengers. NBC News could not immediately verify that report.

(Hattip to CNNChannel 4, BBC, IB TimesMirror UK, NBC)



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