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"Missing" Air Algérie plane has crashed with passengers on board

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courtesy photo 

By Agencies

Posted  Thursday, July 24   2014 at  15:58

In Summary

Its six-member crew were all Spanish, said Spain's airline pilots' union Sepla, while Swiftair confirmed the aircraft had gone missing less than an hour after takeoff from Ouagadougou

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UPDATE

An Air Algerie flight that went missing en route from Burkina Faso to Algiers has crashed, an Algerian aviation official revealed today.

Went missing first

An Air Algérie plane with around 120 people on board including French and Spanish nationals went missing Thursday during a flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers, company sources and officials said.

Air navigation services lost track of the Swiftair MD-83 about 50 minutes after takeoff from Ougadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, at 1.55am GMT the official Algerian news agency said. That means that flight AH5017 had been missing for hours before the news was made public.

Its six-member crew were all Spanish, said Spain's airline pilots' union Sepla, while Swiftair confirmed the aircraft had gone missing less than an hour after takeoff from Ouagadougou.

Many French nationals were thought to be on board the plane, France's Transport Minister, Frederic Cuvillier, said in Paris.

Earlier reports had said the plane was a DC-9.

"The plane disappeared at Gao (in Mali), 500 kilometres (300 miles) from the Algerian border. Several nationalities are among the victims," Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal was cited as saying by Algerian radio.

The Air Algérie source earlier said contact was lost while the airliner was still in Malian airspace and approaching the border with Algeria.