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Algeria Plane Crashes; 116 On Board

Unconfirmed reports say that an Air Algerie flight en route from Burkina Faso to Algiers is to have crashed in the Niger River, carrying 116 people, including the crew.

An Algerian airliner which vanished ov while flying er Africa has crashed with 116 passengers on board, officials claim.

The Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers  was carrying 116 passengers on board when it lost contact with air traffic control staff around an hour after takeoff.

An Algerian air officlal confirmed that the plane has crashed but refued to give further information.

The Algerian aviation official told Reuters: "I can confirm that it has crashed."

An unnamed Air Algerie source told AFP that the crash may have been caused due to poor weather conditions.


He said: "The plane was not far from the Algerian frontier when the crew was asked to make a detour because of poor visibility and to prevent the risk of collision with another aircraft on the Algiers-Bamako route."

"Contact was lost after the change of course."

Spanish private airline company Swiftair confirmed it had no contact with its MD-83 aircraft, operated by Air Algerie, which it said was carrying 110 passengers and six crew members.

The last contact Algerian authorities had with the aircraft was at 0155 GMT, when it was flying over Gao, Mali, an Algerian official said on Thursday.

That is about 300 miles from Niamey, Niger, where it has been reported that a plane has come down.

The city is not on the flight route for the plane, but it has been reported that it had been diverted to avoid a collision.

It is believed there were 80 French passengers on the plane, en route to Paris. The six crew members are believed to be Spanish.

Swiftair said in a notice posted on its website that the aircraft took off from Burkina Faso at 01.17 local time, and was supposed to land in Algiers at 05.10 local time but never reached its destination.