Air Algerie Flight Reportedly Crashes, 116 On Board

The Air Algerie flight that lost contact with aviation officials reportedly crashed in Mali.

Air Algerie Flight Reportedly Crashes, 116 On Board
Getty Images

​An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people appears to have crashed in Mali after losing contact with aviation officials Thursday morning. (Via Getty Images)

Air Algerie did tweet Thursday confirming the plane appeared to have crashed in the Tilemsi region of Mali, some 40 miles from Gao. 

According to a statement from Spanish carrier Swiftair, which owned the plane, the flight left Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso just after 1 a.m. local time and was supposed to land in Algiers four hours later.

The flight lost contact after takeoff, and although many reports initially noted the plane might have gone over a dangerous part of northern Mali, recent statements from French officials say a storm diverted the flight over Niger. (Via CNN)  

"France's foreign minister has just spoken about this. ... All he would say, John, is that it probably crashed." (Via Fox News)

One reason why French officials are commenting on the situation at all is that of the 16 different nationalities on board, 50 of the passengers were French nationals. The next biggest group was 24 passengers from Burkina Faso. (Via Swiftair)

The New York Times reports the French military has already gotten involved: "Two French fighter jets that were on patrol over northern Mali have been diverted to try to locate the plane."

It's impossible to ignore that this crash comes a day after a TransAsia flight crash-landed in Taiwan, killing dozens, and a week after MH17 was downed in Eastern Ukraine. (Via CTI-TVGetty Images)

The crash would be Air Algerie's biggest disaster since one of its planes went off the runway in 2003, killing 102 people on board.