General Gilbert Diendere says the wreckage of Air Algerie Flight AH5017 — which went missing with 116 people on board Thursday — has been found in Mali, about 31 miles from the border of Burkina Faso. Diendere is a close aide to President Blaise Compaore and head of the crisis committee set up to coordinate research for the plane that vanished Thursday in a rainstorm over northern Mali. He says searchers found human remains and burned and scattered plane wreckage.
"We were not able to evaluate exactly what is the situation as night began to fall and this team has confirmed that it has seen the remains of the plane, totally burned out and scattered on the ground," Diendere said in French.
The plane took off at 1:17 a.m. local time (9:17 p.m. ET on Wednesday). Burkina Faso's Transport Minister Jean Bertin Ouedraogo told reporters its pilots had asked to change route about 21 minutes following takeoff after reporting heavy rains.
Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was due to visit the site of the crash on Friday, state television said.
— Hasani Gittens
First published July 24 2014, 3:23 PM