No Survivors Found After Air Algerie Flight 5017 Crash in Mali

By Katy Galimberti, Staff Writer
July 25, 2014; 8:09 AM ET
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An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people disappeared from radar as it traveled from Burkina Faso to the Algerian capital, The Associated Press reported, as storms pushed south of the area of lost contact.

There were no survivors, French President Francois Hollande said.

Approximately 50 minutes after takeoff, the airline reported that contact had been lost with the plane at 0155 GMT (9:55 p.m. EDT Wednesday).

French Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier said the plane vanished over northern Mali in northwest Africa, according to The AP. The cause has not yet been determined, though the flight encountered thunderstorm cells with frequent lightning across southern Mali.

At 6 p.m. EDT, The AP reported in a tweet that wreckage from the aircraft had been found.

As of Friday morning, French President Francois Hollande announced that the black box was recovered from the plane's wreckage, in the Gossi region, according to AP.

While the cause of the crash has not yet been determined, there were thunderstorms in the area.

"There were two widely-separated thunderstorm complexes from southern Mali into northern Burkina Faso," AccuWeather Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani said. "The strongest of these was only 50 miles or so northeast of Ouagadougou."

Mali Satellite
How Airplanes Evolve Over Time
Burkina Faso Satellite

In general, there scattered showers and thunderstorms across all of Burkina Faso and the southern half of Mali on Thursday, Sagliani stated. However, the storms were with the monsoon trough, which is typical in the region in late July.

"This activity was quite normal," Sagliani said.

Satellite images show storm clouds moving over southern Mali near the time of the disappearance. (July 23, 2014, 10:00 EDT)

The typical flight path from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, to Algiers, Algeria, is usually a straight line. It is not immediately clear whether the flight was diverted or not.


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