An Air Algerie flight crashed on Thursday en route from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers with 110 passengers on board, an Algerian aviation official said. There were few clear indications of what might have happened to the aircraft, or whether there were casualties, but Burkino Faso Transport Minister Jean Bertin Ouedrago said it asked to change route at 0138 GMT because of a storm in the area.
“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. Almost half of the passengers were French citizens, an airline official said. A diplomat in the Malian capital Bamako said that the north of the country – which lies on the plane’s likely flight path – was struck by a powerful sandstorm overnight. 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 cancelled flights into Tel Aviv due to the conflict in Gaza.