Algeria officially confirms plane crash

Photo: Algeria officially confirms plane crash / Arab World

Algeria early on Friday officially announced that a plane operated by its national carrier Air Algerie had crashed near the border between Burkina Faso and Mali early on Thursday.

The country's foreign minister Ramtane Lamamra confirmed earlier news about the plane crash.

He said passengers from 13 countries were on board of the crashed plane and that search teams had managed to determine the location of its wreckage.

"The plane did not have any technical problems," Lamamra said. "It was subjected to a technical examination in France a few days ago," he added.

The Algerian Foreign Minister said that everybody in Mali, including militant groups in the turbulent African country, cooperated with Algerian authorities in searching for the wreckage of the plane.

Algeria's Transport Minister Amar Ghoul said earlier that specialized search teams investigate information they acquired from locals in northern Mali that they saw the wreckage of a plane in the vicinity of the Malian city of Djibo.

Air Algerie said early on Thursday that it lost contact with Flight AH 5017 - which took off from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and was heading to Algiers.

The plane was carrying 116 passengers, including 50 French nationals, and six crew members on board.

Air controllers say their last contact with the plane took place some 50 minutes after takeoff.

According to the Weather Channel, Flight AH 5017 entered a stormy area shortly after takeoff that featured "gusts of strong winds and high electrical activity."

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