ST LOUIS (LALATE) – The AH5017 Air Algerie missing plane has been found. The AH5017 Air Algerie plane crashed in Mali. The name of the town is pending. Earlier today, LALATE reported that the Air Algerie plane went missing through Gao, Mali airspace. Moments ago, officials confirmed, first, that the plane has crashed, and second, that the plane has been located in Mali. Meantime, unconfirmed news reports claim that Mariela, Fidel Castro’s niece, might have been on board.
Air Algerie Flight AH5017 today July 24, 2014 went missing shortly after takeoff. The Swiftair MD-83 plane was a passenger jet traveling from Ouagadougou to Algiers, operated by Swiftair. It was badged as Air Algerie Flight 5017 aka AH5017. A massive sandstorm overnight hit the region. During flight, officials told news that the plane had to change direction because of the weather. Then when travelling through Gao, Mali, the plane lost contact with air traffic control. There is zero evidence that the plane was shot down today. And there is zero evidence of any terrorism. All evidence is pointing to weather conditions being a contributing factor.
Meantime a Facebook page for the airport is officially claiming that Mariela, Fidel Castro’s niece, was a passenger on board. Cuban officials and U.S. news have yet to confirm that accuracy of that report. Air Algerie has issued a news statement indicating “Air navigation services have lost contact with an Air Algerie plane Thursday flying from Ouagadougou to Algiers, 50 minutes after takeoff. Air Algerie has put in place an emergency plan.” The plane lost contact after travelling over the Sahara. The plane was only 50 minutes into from Ouagadougou.
The plane was only 21 minutes into its flight when it had to change route, Burkina Faso’s Transport Minister Jean Bertin Ouedraogo told news moments ago. The route change was not suggested by air traffic control but the pilot, warning of bad visibility. For continuing coverage click HERE.