ALGIERS, Algeria (AP/CNN) — An Air Algerie flight with at least 116 people on board that dropped off radar early Thursday is thought to have crashed in Mali, the flight operator said.
Air Algerie said via Twitter that the plane has apparently crashed in the Tilemsi area, about 70 kilometers (43 miles) from the southeastern city of Gao.
The passenger plane took off from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and was to have arrived in Algeria’s capital.
Air navigation services lost track of the plane 50 minutes after takeoff early Thursday, last sited at 0155 GMT, the agency said.
“In keeping with procedures, Air Algerie has launched its emergency plan,” the agency quoted the airline as saying.
The flight path of Flight AH5017 from Ouagadougou, the capital of the west African nation of Burkina Faso, to Algiers was not immediately clear.
Ougadougou is in a nearly straight line south of Algiers, passing over Mali where unrest continues in the north.
France’s transport minister said the flight disappeared over northern Mali.
The news comes in the wake of the tragic crash of a passenger jet over eastern Ukraine. That jet — Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 — was carrying 295 people when it was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, possibly situated in a portion of the country controlled by pro-Russian rebels.
Turmoil in the skies over eastern Ukraine continued Wednesday, with reports that a pair of military jets were shot down in the same region.