Spain's Swiftair says it has lost contact with plane en route to Algiers
Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 01:38
Algerian aviation official confirms the crash of an Air Algerie operated flight owned by the Spanish private company Swiftair, carrying 110 passengers and six crew from Burkina Faso. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
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An Air Algeria plane with around 116 people on board, including French and Spanish nationals, went missing Thursday during a flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers, company sources and officials said.
An Algerian aviation official told Reuters "I can confirm that it has crashed."
Air navigation services lost track of the Swiftair MD-83 about 50 minutes after takeoff from Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.
That means that flight AH5017 had been missing for hours before the news was made public.
(SOUNDBITE) (French) OF ZOHEIR HOUAOUI AIR ALGERIE SALES MANAGER SAYING:
"We confirm that there were 116 people on board, 110 passengers and 6 member crew. The company that operated this flight is swiftair that was chartered by air Algeria."
He said 50 of the passengers were French.
The French Foreign Minister said the flight disappeared over Mali.
Despite international military intervention still underway, the situation remains unstable in northern Mali, which was seized by jihadist groups for several months in 2012.
On July 17, the Bamako government and armed groups from northern Mali launched talks in Algiers aimed at securing an elusive peace deal, with parts of the country still mired in conflict.
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