Missing Algerian Plane “Crashed” in Niger

The plane had 116 on board

An Air Algerie flight declared missing early Thursday crashed in Niger with 116 people on board, an Algerian official reportedly said.

The plane was travelling from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers in Algeria.

“I can confirm that it has crashed,” the unnamed official was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying.

The plane has not yet been located, although France is said to have sent fighter jets to the region to search for the aircraft.

Nearly half of the passengers on board the plane are French nationals.

Algerian authorities lost contact with the plane about an hour after take-of.
The aircraft is said to have taken off at 0117 GMT and was due to land in the Algerian capital of Algiers at 0510 GMT.

Reports say there was a powerful sandstorm overnight in the region, and that the pilot contacted the Nigerien air controllers and asked to change course to avoid the storm.

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