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An Air Algerie plane carrying 119 passengers that went missing mid-flight earlier this morning is believed to have crashed in Mali.
"The plane crashed in the area of Tilemsi, 70km from Gao.”
Air traffic control lost all contact with the plane shortly after it took off from Burkina Faso’s capital city, Ouagadougou. The plane was headed due north to Algiers, a trip that should have taken around 4 hours.
Airport officials are reporting that Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuban president Raul Castro, was a passenger on this plane. There is still no word on the fate of those onboard Flight 5017.
A passenger list reveals most of the passengers to be French citizens. Several passengers had connecting flights in Algiers to either Paris or Marseilles.
Weather reports show a severe storm passed through the area of the flight path. Some believe pilots tried to divert the plane in order to get around the turbulence.
This marks the third air disaster in the past 8 days. Exactly one week ago, a Malaysia Airlines plane was brought down over the Ukraine with nearly 300 people onboard.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families with anyone onboard this latest ill-fated flight.
[Image via Twitter.]