On Friday, French President Francois Hollande reported that a French military unit had found the wreckage of Air Algerie Flight 5017, which crashed in Mali less than an hour after takeoff from Burkina Faso early Thursday. None of the 110 Algiers-bound passengers or six crew members survived the crash, Hollande said, but the French troops did recover the plane's black box.
The black box should help determine what caused the third fatal crash of a commercial jetliner in the past week. French officials say the ethnic Tuareg separatists fighting in Mali are capable of downing a jet at cruising altitude. The only real public clue so far is from Burkina Faso Transport Minister Jean Bertin Ouedraogo, who said that before the crash the Spanish-owned aircraft had asked air-traffic controllers in Niger to reroute the plane due to heavy rains.
The victims of the crash are mostly from France and Burkina Faso, plus passengers from Lebanon, Algeria, Canada, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Belgium, Egypt, Ukraine, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Mali. The crew was Spanish.