Officials have confirmed that an Air Algerie aircraft, which was lost from radars yesterday (July 24), has crashed in southern Mali.
Flight AH5017 was carrying 116 people from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso in West Africa to Algiers in Algeria, when it went missing an hour into its flight as it flew over Mali. There are no survivors.
The cause of the crash is as yet unknown, but it is likely to have been due to a sandstorm. The pilot reportedly contacted Niger’s control tower at 01:38 to request a change of flight path due to the storm. However, there is a small concern that it could have been hit by a missile, as like Ukraine – the site of the MH17 crash – some of Mali is a warzone.
The FAA has warned pilots not to fly below 24,000 feet in Mali’s airspace due to insurgent activity. However, it is thought that insurgents in Mali do not have weaponry sophisticated enough to take down an aircraft.