28 July 2014

Algeria: Germany Joins Probe Into Air Algerie Crash

Photo: VOA
An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people has vanished while en route from Burkina Faso to Algeria. A French government official and the plane's Spanish owner says contact was lost with the aircraft over northern Mali.

Two German police experts have been sent to France to help identify victims of last week's Air Algerie plane crash in Mali. Their remains are to be brought to France where flags are flying a half-mast.

France was in mourning on Monday as probes continued into last Thursday's Air Algerie tragedy. Fifty-four French nationals were among the 118 killed, along with citizens of seven other nations.

Germany's BKA Federal Criminal Office said its two forensic experts would consult with French officials on identification. Among those killed were a German development aid worker and three members of her family who were on board.

French President Francois Hollande, who on Monday consulted further with cabinet ministers, said on Saturday that he wanted the remains of all occupants brought to France.

Both flight data recorders of the McDonnell Douglas MD-83 are also to be sent for analysis to France.

French military spokesman Lt. Col. Michel Sabatier said the crash site in northern Mali had been secured by 180 French soldiers and 40 Dutch soldiers attached to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali as well as Malian troops.

Video footage of the remote Gossi area, where the plane came down, showed only debris. No one survived the impact. The first French air accident investigators arrived at the crash zone on Saturday.

The flight had taken off from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso bound for Algiers.

Other causes not excluded

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said bad weather was the most likely accident cause, but French authorities have not ruled out terrorism.

Regional Tuareg rebels and al Qaeda-linked Islamists took control in northern Mali in 2012 after a military coup, prompting a French-led military intervention.

Mali's Bamako-based government warned recently that the rebels might try to retake Mali's northern cities.

Both the Burkina Faso and Malian governments have said they have also launched inquiries into the crash which took place 50 minutes into the flight.

Accident series

Thursday's Air Algerie crash was the third major aviation disaster within just eight days.

The series began with alleged downing of a Malaysia Airlines plane over war-torn eastern Ukraine and an airliner crash in Taiwan during torrential rain.

ipj/kms (AFP, dpa, AP)

More on This
Identification of Air Algérie Victims Begins

Investigators have begun combing the site and wreckage of Air Algérie's Flight AH 5017 that crashed in Gossi in … see more »

Copyright © 2014 Deutsche Welle. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.