Four Germans on missing Air Algérie flight

UPDATE: Four Germans were among the 116 people onboard a Air Algérie flight which crashed over Mali on Thursday, according to the airline which operated flight number AH5017.

Four Germans on missing Air Algérie flight
A Swiftair flight Photo: EPA/SWIFTAIR

Missing flight AH5017 from Burkina Faso to Algiers crashed near Tilensi 70 kilometres from the town of Gao, northern Mali, Air Algérie said.

The plane came down in the early hours of Thursday morning shortly after losing contact with airline officials.

This is the latest information from Air Algérie on the nationalities of the passengers aboard:

Six Algerians, 51 French, 24 from Burkina Faso, one Malian, one Belgian, two from Luxembourg, five Canadians, one Cameroonian, four Germans, one Nigerian, eight Lebanese, one Egyptian, one Ukrainian, one Swiss and six Spanish crew.

A spokesman for the German Foreign Office told The Local the country's embassy in Burkina Faso was working "intensively" to establish whether German nationals had been affected. 

The Swiftair MD-83 disappeared from air controllers’ radar screens about 50 minutes after take-off from Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.

That was at around 1.55am GMT and there has been no contact with the crew since, the airline said.

The chartered  flight lost contact over the town of Gao in north-eastern Mali. UN officials have suggested the plane may have come down in heavy storms.

The plane's crew requested to change course to avoid bad weather just before losing contact.

France and Niger have sent jets to search the area for evidence of the crash.

Mali experienced a military coup in 2012 and separatist militants are involved in continuing unrest in the area.

An emergency phone number for information on the AH5017 flight has been set up. The number is + 33 1 43 17 56 46.

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