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Wednesday 18 October 2017

Second Algeria black box found

Family members and friends await news at the airport in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, after a plane crashed in Mali (AP)
Family members and friends await news at the airport in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, after a plane crashed in Mali (AP)

Experts have found the second black box of the Air Algerie flight that crashed in a remote part of northern Mali, killing all 118 people on board.

The UN peacekeeping mission in Mali issued a statement that said its specialists deployed to the site had located the second black box that may help to determine what happened to the plane, which had encountered bad weather.

The Air Algerie jet was flying from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers in Algeria on Thursday when it went down in Mali near the border with Burkina Faso.

The Burkina Faso government has flown three family members of those killed aboard the jet to the site in Mali where debris from the plane and the remains of passengers are scattered, said spokesman Victorien Sawadogo.

A government helicopter transported the family members - from France, Lebanon and Burkina Faso - so they could view the results of the air disaster, he said.

A psychologist is accompanying them and a second flight to the site was planned later on Saturday, he added.

Burkina Faso president Blaise Compaore will meet with other family members on Saturday afternoon, said the spokesman.

In Paris, French president Francois Hollande was meeting with families of victims. Nearly half of the victims were French.

Spanish and Algerian officials flew to Burkina Faso on Saturday to express their condolences.

"We send a message of condolences, sympathy, solidarity and availability to the people of Burkina Faso," Amar Ghoule, the Algerian minister of transportation and special envoy of president Aziz Bouteflika, told journalists after meeting with Mr Compaore.

The Spanish ambassador in Burkina Faso, Fernando Maran, also expressed "the will of the Spanish government to collaborate with Burkina Faso and other countries by making available all technical and human means that they have". All six crew members of flight AH 5017 were Spanish.

In Ouagadougou, a supermarket has been closed for the second day after the loss of the owner. Eight Lebanese nationals died in the crash, according to the Burkinabe press.

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