'No survivors': Black box of Air Algerie plane carrying 116 people found

No one survived the crash of an Air Algerie flight over Mali, French President Francois Hollande has confirmed, adding that the plane’s black box flight recorder had been found. Wreckage and remains from Air Algerie flight AH5017 have been discovered in northern Mali several hours after the plane carrying 116 people crashed in that region. Malian state television said the wreckage of the flight was located between the town of Gossi and the Burkina Faso border. French officials have dispatched a military unit to secure the site.

Sadly, there were no survivors.

French President Francois Hollande

Swiftair, the private Spanish company that owns the plane, confirmed the MD-83 operated by Air Algerie was carrying 110 passengers and six crew. It said it took off from Burkina Faso at 0117 GMT and was due to land at 0610 BST, but never reached its destination. Regional aviation officials said they had lost contact with flight AH5017 less than an hour after takeoff, following a request by the pilot to change course due to bad weather. A local official in Gossi said the crash had been witnessed by a group of herders near the village of Hamni-Ganda, and word was passed to authorities in Burkina Faso.

The herders were in the bush and saw the plane fall. It must have been a storm and it was struck by lightning. They said it was on fire as it fell, before it crashed.

Louis Berthaud, a community counsellor in Gossi