Black Box Found At Air Algerie Wreckage Site

French soldiers secured a black box from the Air Algerie wreckage site in a desolate region of restive northern Mali on Friday, the French president said. Terrorism hasn't been ruled out as a cause, although officials say the most likely reason for the catastrophe that killed all onboard is bad weather.

At least 116 people were killed in Thursday's disaster, nearly half of whom were French. President Francois Hollande put the number of victims at 118, a discrepancy that couldn't be immediately clarified.

One of two black boxes was recovered from the wreckage in the Gossi region of Mali near the border with Burkina Faso, and was taken to the northern city of Gao, where a French contingent is based, Hollande told reporters after an emergency meeting with government ministers.

"There are, alas, no survivors," Hollande said. "I share the pain of families living through this terrible ordeal."

A team of French air accident investigators was being sent to Mali, he said.

Air Algerie and private Spanish airline Swiftair, which was operating Flight 5017, said Thursday there were 116 people onboard.

French television showed images of the crash site scene taken by a soldier from Burkina Faso. The brief footage showed a desolate area with scattered debris that was unrecognizable. There were bits of twisted metal but no identifiable parts such as the fuselage or tail, or victims' bodies. Scrubby vegetation could be seen scattered in the background.

Burkina soldiers were reportedly the first to reach the site, apparently Thursday evening, and the images were viewed at the Burkina Faso crisis center.

© 2019 Asian Mirror (pvt) Ltd