Algerian Plane Carrying 116 People Missing

An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people has vanished while en route from Burkina Faso to Algeria. A French government official and the plane’s Spanish owner says contact was lost with the aircraft over northern Mali.

The plane is believed to have gone down somewhere in Mali

Algerian authorities said they have lost contact with one of their planes that flew from Burkina Faso with 110 passengers and six crew on board.

The country’s national airline, Air Algerie’s flight was from Ouagadougou to Algiers.

The aircraft is said to have taken off at 0117 GMT and was due to land in the Algerian capital of Algiers at 0510 GMT.

Contact with the plane was lost about an hour after take-off presumably as it travelled across Gao in Mali.

Reuters news agency quoted a diplomat in the Malian capital Bamako as saying that the north of the country – which lies on the plane’s likely flight path – was struck by a powerful sandstorm overnight.

According to the BBC, United Nations troops in Mali say they understand the plane came down between Gao and Tessalit.

The area is vast and sparsely populated. Search is under way.

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