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Wreckage of Air Algerie Flight 5017 found in Mali

French President Francois Hollande described the wreckage of Air Algerie Flight 5017 as "disintegrated." The plane crashed Thursday in Mali while en route from Burkina Faso to Algeria. Severe weather may have played a role the crash.
By JC Finley   |   July 25, 2014 at 8:48 AM   |   Comments

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BAMAKO, Mali, July 25 (UPI) -- The wreckage of Air Algerie Flight 5017 that crashed Thursday in Mali has now been found.

There were no survivors.

The Boeing MD-83 disappeared over Mali airspace 50 minutes into a four-hour flight from Burkina Faso to Algeria.

Contact was lost when the flight was directed to change course because of zero visibility and thunderstorms, the airline noted.

There are conflicting reports about the number aboard the plane. Air Algerie reported Thursday there were 117 passengers and six crew members on the flight. The passenger list, according to Burkinabe officials, included 51 French, 27 Burkinabe, eight Lebanese, six Algerians, five Canadians, four Germans, two Luxembourgians, one Belgian, one Cameroonian, one Egyptian, one Malian, one Nigerian, one Swiss, and one Ukrainian. All crew members were Spanish.

French President Francois Hollande spoke Friday about the discovery of the plane wreckage in Mali's Gossi region, close to the border with Burkina Faso.

The plane, he said, was in a "disintegrated state."

"What we already know is that the debris from the plane is concentrated in a limited area, but it's still too early to draw conclusions ... There are hypotheses around -- notably that it was to do with the weather. But we are ruling nothing out because we want to know everything."

French forces are guarding the wreckage site and have recovered one of the flight recorders.

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