News / Africa

    French Military Sent to Secure Mali Plane Crash Site

    An Algerian crisis unit meets at the Houari-Boumediene International Airport in Algiers, July 24, 2014 following the disappearance of an Air Algerie plane over Mali.
    An Algerian crisis unit meets at the Houari-Boumediene International Airport in Algiers, July 24, 2014 following the disappearance of an Air Algerie plane over Mali.
    VOA News

    France has sent a military unit to secure the wreckage of an Air Algerie plane that crashed in Mali on its way from Burkina Faso to Algeria with 116 people on board.

    President Francois Hollande's office said in a statement Friday the plane, which was carrying 51 French nationals, was clearly identified even though it has "disintegrated."

    There have been no reports of survivors.

    General Gilbert Diendere of Burkina Faso's army confirmed the plane was spotted in northeastern Mali between the desert regions of Aguelhoc and Kidal.

    "At this location the (rescue) mission found debris from the plane that unfortunately included the remains of human bodies," Diendere said.

    "We have not been able to evaluate properly because night began to fall and rescuers confirmed to us that they have seen the totally burnt and scattered wreckage of the plane. Unfortunately, our team saw nobody (alive). The team saw no survivors there," he said.

    Authorities say the flight encountered strong storms after taking off from Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.

    There were few clear indications of what might have happened to the airliner, but Burkina Faso's transport minister said the crew asked to adjust their route at 0138 GMT because of a storm in the area.

    It is not yet known if weather played a role in the plane’s disappearance. The flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers should have taken four hours.

    Earlier, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters the aircraft "probably crashed," as French fighter jets based in West Africa were taking part in the search. 

    French President Francois Hollande canceled a planned visit to overseas territories and said all military means on the ground would be used to locate the aircraft.

    Earlier Thursday, Kara Terki, a spokesman for Air Algeria, confirmed there had been no sign of the plane since around 0330 GMT, about one hour before it was scheduled to land in Algiers Thursday morning.

    The MD-83 aircraft, constructed in 1996, was chartered by Air Algerie from Spanish airline Swiftair. SwiftAir said in a statement it was continuing to work with Air Algerie and local authorities to locate the missing plane.

    Air Algerie Last Known Position
    Air Algerie Last Known Position

    Last seen over northern Mali

    Security officials in Mali told VOA that the plane was last seen on radar over northern Mali, between Gao and Tissalit, near the border with Burkina Faso.

    Gao was one of the towns in northern Mali seized by al-Qaida-linked Islamist militants in 2012. The Malian government regained control after a French-led  military intervention last year, but militants continue to attack French and government troops.

    Algerian officials have set up a crisis team at the Algiers airport, while Swiftair said emergency equipment and personnel have been deployed to find out what happened to the plane.

    According to Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Transportation, there were 110 passengers and six crew members on board, including 50 French citizens and 24 Burkinabe.

    They said most of the passengers were in transit to destinations in Europe.

    The plane was chartered by Air Algerie from Spanish airline Swiftair.

    VOA's Jennifer Lazuta contributed to this report. Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

    You May Like

    Brexit Vote Triggers Increase in Racist Attacks

    Britain's decision to leave European Union seen by some as 'permission' to unleash anti-immigrant resentment

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    AIIB Takes Big Strides Amid Fears About China's Dominance

    Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank says it is independent, but concerns persist; China holds 20.6 percent of bank's shares, others have less than 7.5 percent each

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Concerned global citizen from: Southeastasia
    July 26, 2014 5:32 AM
    If the criminals who massacred 298 people up in the sky flying on Malaysian Airlines 17 are not brought to JUSTICE soon, sooner there will be copycat crimes on almost every part of this planet. There will be criminals craving to shoot down flying passenger planes just in order to get the the valuables and belongings of the passengers.

    Mr Obama, Mr Cameron, Mr Najib, and all leaders of nations who love peace and order, please do your utmost now to apprehend the criminals who downed MH17 and bring them to justice soon. Don't you care about the safety of your loved ones who will sooner or later be flying on one of the planes to be targeted at any height by copycat passenger plane shooters?


    by: Not Again from: Canada
    July 24, 2014 2:12 PM
    Another tragedy, and probably another needless tragedy, taking the lives of innocent people; causing great suffering to the families and friends, of the victims.
    Lately Air Safety is taking a bad downturn. Every one of these major bad flights destinations, they are not accidents, in the past few months, in my view, indicate a very lax attitude with respect to flight planning, extremely lax routine pilot periodic reporting procedures, too many routes over poorly covered control zones, flights over known conflict zones. Accidents should be events that can't be prevented; most bad flight destinations (death), are fully preventable, if everyone involved did their work effectively, efficiently and using common sense.
    Airlines' management need to be held accountable for all these bad destination flights. In most cases the pilots are dead, and the buck should not stop at the pilot, but should go up all the way the top of the airline. Just because the costs are being driven down, the passangers and crews should not be ending at the bad destination = DEAD.

    by: VTA from: Vietnam
    July 24, 2014 11:54 AM
    NO! I do not believe the news of planes! The God does not love and cherish us anymore!!! Do not leave us alone!

    Pray for all souls! I trust in the God!

    by: Biyi from: Ilorin,Nigeria
    July 24, 2014 9:54 AM
    It's rather pathetic that we're having another craft missing!The MH370,MH17,Taiwan craft&Air force craft in Nigeria! Our meteorologists should do more while security should be step up at the airports!

    by: Dr. Dee from: USA
    July 24, 2014 9:06 AM
    Does the FAA know? Have they banned flights to Algeria? How about Syria, Lebanon, Ukraine, and Russia?

    What hypocrites run my country!

    by: Crystal S. from: Ann Arbor, MI
    July 24, 2014 8:13 AM
    I really feel like this is a joke. Really. Another one? What's going on! It's gotta be a hoax! Someones pranking us?

    This just doesn't make any sense anymore...

    by: tom from: TX
    July 24, 2014 7:25 AM
    OK people, can someone please tell me what happened to our plane? Who was the pilot? - Boss. Mohammad Akbar was flying it boss. - Staffer. Oh - Boss

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmarki
    X
    John Owens
    June 26, 2016 2:04 PM
    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora