An Air Algerie plane flying from Algeria to Burkina Faso disappeared over Mali and likely crashed, officials have confirmed in a currently unfolding situation.
The Air Algerie plane was carrying 100 passengers and 16 crew members, and is the third passenger plane to crash in the past week.
An initial report from Gawker gives a timeline of the Air Algerie disappearance:
“Swiftair, which owns the plane, said that flight AH5017 took off at 1:17 am local time and was supposed to land at 5:10. An unnamed Algerian aviation official told Reuters that the flight lost contact at 1:55, flying over Gao, Mali. Burkina Faso air officials, however, said they gave control to a tower in Niger at 1:38 am, and that last contact was at 4:30 am.”
With a world on high alert following the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and subsequent news the craft had likely been deliberately shot down, Reuters indicates that little is known about why the Air Algerie plane went down:
“‘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.”
Reuters also delves into some of the climate surrounding the crash, in a month where civilian air travel seems beset on all sides by sudden dangers and tragic incidents:
“Whatever the cause, another plane crash is likely to add to nerves in the industry after a Malaysia Airlines plane was downed over Ukraine last week, a TransAsia Airways crashed off Taiwan during a thunderstorm on Wednesday and airlines canceled flights into Tel Aviv due to the conflict in Gaza.”
Several countries are involved in the investigation of the crash of AH5017, including France and Spain. Col. Gilles Jarron, a French Army spokesman, commented on what we know about the Algerian plane crash so far:
“Two Mirage 2000 jets were given the mission to search the area after reports of a suspected accident… They are in the air, searching the area between its last known destination along its most probable route.”
On board AH5017 were 50 French nationals, as well as passengers from several other countries. The BBC details:
“An Air Algerie spokesman quoted by Reuters said the provisional passenger list also included 24 people from Burkina Faso, eight Lebanese, four Algerians, two from Luxembourg, one Belgian, one Swiss, one Nigerian, one Cameroonian, one Ukrainian and one Romanian.”
Officials have not confirmed any further details of the Air Algerie AH5017 crash as of 10:30 AM EST.