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'Ten family members' believed killed in Air Algerie crash

Ten people from the same family are believed to have died in the Air Algerie plane crash, AFP are reporting.

All 118 passengers and crew were killed after the plane went down in the West African state of Mali.

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#BREAKING: Ten people from same French family killed in Air Algerie crash: authorities

More: Algerian plane 'may have been struck by lightning'

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France: Flight AH5017 broke apart upon hitting ground

An Air Algerie Airways plane prepares to land at Houari Boumediene Airport in Algiers.
An Air Algerie Airways plane preparing to land at Houari Boumediene Airport in Algiers yesterday. Credit: Reuters

Air Algerie flight AH5017 broke apart when it hit the ground, French investigators have concluded.

The finding suggests the cause of the crash is unlikely to have been an attack.

"We think the aircraft crashed for reasons linked to the weather conditions, although no theory can be excluded at this point," French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told RTL radio.

Air Algerie flight 'crashed after being struck by lightning'

A group of herders who say they saw Air Algerie flight AH5017 crash claim it went down after being struck by lightning, local officials told Reuters.

Louis Berthaud, a community counsellor in Gossi near where the plane carrying 116 people went down, said: "The herders were in the bush and saw the plane fall."

He added: "It must have been a storm and it was struck by lightning. They said it was on fire as it fell, before it crashed."

At the moment the cause of the crash appears to be bad weather but French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said no hypothesis, including terrorist attacks, had been excluded.

France send military unit to AH5017 wreckage scene

France has sent a military unit to secure the site of the wreckage of the Air Algerie flight which was carrying 51 French nationals.

There were 110 passengers on the plane, which crashed in Mali, plus six crew members. All the crew are thought to be Spanish.

A statement from French President Francois Hollande's office said."A French military unit has been sent to secure the site and gather the first elements of information."

Two days of mourning for flight AH5017 victims

An Air Algerie plane like the one which crashed in Mali.
An Air Algerie plane like the one which crashed in Mali. Credit: Reuters

Burkina Faso's government has said the country will observe 48 hours of mourning for the victims of Air Algerie flight AH5017.

The plane crashed on Thursday with 116 on board. The wreckage has now been located in Mali but there are not thought to be any survivors.

More than half of the passengers were French with 51 nationals counted on the manifesto.

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said: "If this catastrophe is confirmed, it would be a major tragedy that hits our entire nation, and many others."

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'No survivors' of Algerian plane crash, officials say

There are not thought to be any survivors of Air Algerie flight AH5017, officials who have found the wreckage say.

General Gilbert Diendere, a member of the crisis unit in West Africa's Burkina Faso where the plane set off from, said his team of investigators had already inspected the crash site.

He added: "This team has confirmed that it has seen the remains of the plane, totally burned out and scattered on the ground. Sadly, the team saw saw no survivors."

Regional aviation officials said they had lost contact with the plane less than an hour after takeoff following a request by the pilot to change course due to bad weather.

Burkina Faso authorities said the passenger list included 51 French, 27 Burkinabe, eight Lebanese, six Algerians, five Canadians, four Germans, two from Luxembourg, one Cameroonian, one Belgian, one Egyptian, one Ukranian, one Swiss, one Nigerian and one Malian.

'Rainstorm could have caused Air Algerie plane crash'

Air Algerie flight AH5017, which had 116 on board, could have crashed as a result of a rainstorm, officials said.

The wreckage has now been found in a remote part of Mali and human remains have been spotted among scattered plane parts.

General Gilbert Diendere, an official from Burkina Faso where the plane took off, said it was located about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the border of Burkina Faso near the village of Boulikessi in Mali.

Mali president says plane wreckage spotted in north

The wreckage of a missing Air Algerie flight had been spotted in Mali's desert north, the country's president has said.

Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said he had been informed during a meeting that the plane was found between "Aguelhok and Kidal" but gave no more details.

The stars mark the locations of Aguelhok (more northern) and Kidal
The stars mark the locations of Aguelhok (more northern) and Kidal, between which the wreckage of the plane is said to have been seen. Credit: Google Maps
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