Crashed Algerian Plane Was 30 Years Old

The wreck of a plane that disappeared with 116 people on board on a flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers has been found in Mali, officials say.

The Burkinabe army said the plane, operated by Algeria's national airline Air Algerie, had crashed about 50km (30 miles) from the Burkina Faso border.

Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane early on Thursday after pilots reported severe storms.

According to BBC, the plane first flew in 1984.

The passengers included 51 French citizens.

The McDonnell Douglas MD-83 - Flight AH 5017 - had been chartered from Spanish airline Swiftair.

Malian state television confirmed that the wreckage was found in the village of Boulikessi by a helicopter from Burkina Faso, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Gilbert Diendere, a Burkina Faso army general, said Mali had agreed to their cross-border search which was launched after a resident in Gossi described seeing a plane go down to the south-west of the town.

"They found human remains and the wreckage of the plane totally burnt and scattered," he told AP.

French fighter jets and UN helicopters had been hunting for the wreck in the more remote desert region of northern Mali between Gao and Tessalit.

Contact with Flight AH 5017 was lost about 50 minutes after take-off from Ouagadougou on Thursday morning, Air Algerie said.

The pilot had contacted Niger's control tower in Niamey at around 01:30 GMT to change course because of a sandstorm, officials say.

Burkina Faso authorities said the passenger list comprised 27 people from Burkina Faso, 51 French, eight Lebanese, six Algerians, two from Luxembourg, five Canadians, four Germans, one Cameroonian, one Belgian, one Egyptian, one Ukrainian, one Swiss, one Nigerian and one Malian.

The six crew members are Spanish, according to the Spanish pilots' union.

Flight AH 5017 flies the Ouagadougou-Algiers route four times a week, AFP reported.

The MD83 series is a short-medium range airliner, but a More powerful version of the MD-80 type and said to have twin rear-engine. this type of aircraft first flew in 1984 and have a capacity of 172 passengers.

(with inputs from BBC)

© 2019 Asian Mirror (pvt) Ltd