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Air Algerie wreck found in Mali
24 Jul 2014 21:09
The wreck of an Air Algerie plane that went missing with 110 passengers on board has been found in Mali near the Burkina Faso border, according to a coordinator for the crisis unit in Ouagadougou.
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"We have found the Algerian plane. The wreck has been located ... 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of the Burkina Faso border" in the Malian region of Gossi, said General Gilbert Diendiere from the Burkina Faso army.
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There were few clear indications of what might have happened to the aircraft, or whether there were casualties.
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Burkino Faso Transport Minister Jean Bertin Ouedrago said it asked to change route at 2.38am Irish time because of a storm in the area.
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"I can confirm that it has crashed," the Algerian official told Reuters, declining to be identified or give any details about what had happened to the aircraft on its way north.
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Almost half of the passengers were French citizens, an airline official said.
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Niger security sources said planes were flying over the border region with Mali to search for the flight.
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France's aviation watchdog said this afternoon that the jet was checked "two or three days ago" and was "in good condition", France's aviation watchdog said.
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Patrick Gandil, head of the French civil aviation authority, said the McDonnell Douglas MD-83 "passed through France in Marseille two or three days ago.
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"We examined it and we found almost nothing, it was really in good condition," Mr Gandil said.
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Algeria's state news agency APS said authorities lost contact with flight AH 5017 an hour after it took off from Burkina Faso, but other officials gave differing accounts of the times of contact, adding to confusion about the plane's fate.
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