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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/24/2014 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Flight operator says plane apparently crashed in Mali

In yet another horrific airline disaster in a year full of them, an Air Algerie flight with 116 people on board has simply - dropped off the radar. The flight operator says that the plane has apparently crashed in somewhere in the West African nation of Mali.

The plane in question, the MD-83 is part of the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 family of twin-engine, single-aisle jets. The plane belongs to a private Spanish company, Swiftair, but it appears to have been operated by Air Algerie.

The plane in question, the MD-83 is part of the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 family of twin-engine, single-aisle jets. The plane belongs to a private Spanish company, Swiftair, but it appears to have been operated by Air Algerie.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/24/2014 (9 months ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Air Algerie, Mali, Ffrench government, crash, reconaissance


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Air Algerie tweeted that the plane apparently crashed in the Tilemsi area, about 70 45 miles from the southeastern city of Gao.

Officials say that Flight 5017 lost radar contact 50 minutes after takeoff from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, earlier today. It was supposed to arrive at Algiers' Houari Boumediene Airport about four hours later.

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The plane in question, the MD-83 is part of the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 family of twin-engine, single-aisle jets. The plane belongs to a private Spanish company, Swiftair, but it appears to have been operated by Air Algerie.

Among those on board were 50 people from France, 24 from Burkina Faso, eight Lebanese, six Algerians, five Canadians, four Germans, two from Luxembourg, one from Mali, one Cameroonian, one Belgian, one Ukrainian, one Romanian and one Swiss.

There is one particular person of note who was reportedly on the downed plane: Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro, was among those on board. The Cuban Foreign Ministry is looking into the reports. They say that they were not aware she was on that plane. CNN has also not confirmed that she was on the flight.

The plane might be in the area of Kidal in northern Mali, where French troops are stationed. The town of Kidal was occupied some months ago by rebels. French forces have already started reconnaissance flights to search for the plane, according to an airport's post.

There are conflicting reports of the number of people on board. According to the state-run Algeria Press Service news agency, the plane, an MD-83, was carrying 119 people in total, including seven crew members.

French Secretary of Transport Frederic Cuvillier also told reporters the plane disappeared over northern Mali, where Islamist militants are fighting the Malian government and French forces.

"A large number of French passengers" were believed to be on board the plane, according to CNN's French affiliate BFMTV.

In the meantime, France is actively seeking more information about the location of the missing flight.

"We are entirely mobilized in Paris as well as in Algiers and Ouagadougou where our embassies are in constant contact with local authorities and the airline," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

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