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Algeria/Alt dezastru aerian

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While an airport is being attacked in another part of Africa, in the capital of Libya, a passenger plane is feared to have crashed, having taken off from Algeria. The plane, an Air Algérie flight, designated as AH5017, disappeared from radar on Thursday over northern Mali while on a flight from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algeria. It was carrying 110 passengers, mainly French and Burkina Faso citizens. There were six crew members. TV reports in Mali state that the wreckage of the Air Algérie flight was found close to the Malian town of Gossi. This information appears to have also been confirmed by a Burkina Faso official. The wreck is reported to be located 50 kilometers north of the Burkina Faso border in the Malian region of Gossi, with debris scattered in locations up to 400km apart.Burkina Faso authorities said the passenger list comprised 27 people from Burkina Faso, 51 French, eight Lebanese, and six Algerians, two from Luxembourg, five Canadians, four Germans, one Cameroonian, one Belgian, one Egyptian, one Ukrainian, one Swiss, one Nigerian and one Malian. The six crew members are of Spanish origin.The flight, owned by Air Algérie was operated by the private Spanish company SwiftAir. Reports have it that on the day of the flight there were heavy rains. Thereafter, contact with the plane was lost over the Sahara as it crossed Mali in that bad weather. Reports say that the pilot had contacted Nigers control tower in Niamey to change course because of the sandstorm.Before the confirmed crash, officials in Algeria and France were uncertain about the crash and could only state that the plane had ‘probably crashed’. Two French fighter jets had consequently been dispatched as part of the search efforts. It is reported that those fighter jets actually located the wreckage in Mali, although the airline had placed the likely location of the crash further south west.Meanwhile, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is expected to visit the crash scene on Friday.It is hoped that rescue operations will continue in earnest to salvage whatever is of value from the crashed plane. Stiffer measures on safety would have to be implemented in managing the flying of airplanes in bad weather in the aviation sector.To the families of the bereaved, consolation can only come from doing all that is possible in avoiding future re-occurrence.Author: Tubonemi -Nigeria

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