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Air Algerie flight AH5017

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Reports have emerged that Air Algerie flight AH5017 has crashed near the capital of Niger, with at least 110 people on board.


CCTV News, the English news channel of China Central Television, reports the plane was flying through an area affected by violent storms.


Earlier, Air Algerie reported it had lost contact with one of its passenger aircraft nearly an hour after takeoff from Burkina Faso bound for Algiers.


There are reportedly 116 people of various nationalities listed as being on board the flight.


The source said contact with the flight was lost while it was still in Malian airspace approaching the border with Algeria.


"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," the source said.


"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.


"Air navigation services have lost contact with an Air Algerie plane Thursday flying from Ouagadougou to Algiers, 50 minutes after takeoff," the statement said.


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.


The plane is reportedly chartered from Spanish airline Swiftair.


In a statement (in Spanish), Swiftair said that the aircraft was an MD83 and that they were unable to establish contact with the plane.





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