The wreck of a plane that disappeared with 116 people on board on a flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers has been found in Mali, officials say. The French president’s office said that troops were on their way to secure the site, about 50km from the Burkina Faso border.
President Francois Hollande expressed solidarity with the friends and families of those on board.
“A French military unit has been sent to (the area) to secure the site and gather evidence,” his office said, also claiming that the plane had “disintegrated” without further details.
The plane was owned by Spanish company Swiftair and leased by Air Algerie.
“We sent men, with the agreement of the Mali government, to the site, and they found the wreckage of the plane with the help of the inhabitants of the area,” said Gen. Gilbert Diendere, a close aide to Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore and head of the crisis committee set up to investigate the flight.
“They found human remains and the wreckage of the plane totally burnt and scattered,” he said.
Malian state television confirmed that the wreckage was found in the village of Boulikessi by a helicopter from Burkina Faso.
An Air Algerie representative in Burkina Faso, Kara Terki, told a news conference that all the passengers on the plane were in transit, either for Europe, the Middle East or Canada.
He said the passenger list included 50 French, 24 Burkinabe, eight Lebanese, four Algerians, two from Luxembourg, one Belgian, one Swiss, one Nigerian, one Cameroonian, one Ukrainian and one Romanian.
The crash represents the third major international aviation disaster in a week, following the downing of a Malaysian Boeing 777 over eastern Ukraine and the crash of a passenger plane off Taiwan.