Algerian plane disappears en route to Algiers

Published July 24th, 2014 - 11:26 GMT

Algeria's national airline says it has lost contact with a plane carrying 110 passengers and six crew members after it disappeared off the radar on a flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers.

Air navigation services lost track of the Airbus A320 around 50 minutes after take-off early today.

It was last sited at 1.55am GMT, the official Algerian news agency said. 

The flight should have landed in the Algerian capital at 5am GMT.

Vanished: Algeria's national airline says it has lost contact with a Airbus A320 plane carrying 110 passengers and six crew members after it disappeared off the radar on a flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers (file picture)

The flight path of AH5017 from Ouagadougou, the capital of the west African nation of Burkina Faso, to Algiers was not immediately clear.

A source from Air Algerie told the AFP news agency said contact was lost while it was still in Malian air space approaching the border with Algeria.

The source 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.'
 
The airline announced that the plane had gone missing in a brief statement carried by national news agency APS.
 

It added that the company initiated an 'emergency plan' in the search for flight AH5017, which flies the four-hour passenger route four times a week.

Ougadougou is in a nearly straight line south of Algiers, passing over Mali where unrest continues in the north.

One of Algeria's worst air disasters occurred in February this year, when a C-130 military aircraft carrying 78 people crashed in the mountainous northeast, killing more than 70 people.

Tamanrasset in the deep south was the site of the country's worst ever civilian air disaster, in March 2003.

In that accident, all but one of 103 people on board were killed when an Air Algerie passenger plane crashed on takeoff after one of its engines caught fire.

The sole survivor, a young Algerian soldier, was critically injured.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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