French soldiers stand guard at the crash site of Air Algerie Flight AH5017 near the northern Mali town of Gossi on July 24, 2014. Picture: Souleymane ag Anara
French soldiers stand guard at the crash site of Air Algerie Flight AH5017 near the northern Mali town of Gossi on July 24, 2014. Picture: Souleymane ag Anara

Air Algerie crash ‘unexplained’

By Time of article published Sep 22, 2014

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Paris - The July crash of an Air Algerie passenger plane in Mali, which killed all 116 people on board, remains unexplained after the first investigative report into the accident was released by French authorities.

The first findings from the ongoing investigation into the cause of the crash, released on Saturday, yielded no clear findings although investigators did not rule out a terrorist attack.

“We currently have no preferred hypothesis,” said Bernard Boudeille of France's Bureau of Investigations and Analyses. “Nothing can confirm or deny the possibility of terrorism.”

Prior to the July 24 crash, the pilots of the McDonnell Douglas MD-83 had announced plans to deviate from their planned route because of expected inclement weather.

The flight's voice data recorder did not operate correctly, but information from the flight data recorder showed the engines slowed abruptly before the plane took a sharp nosedive.

Boudeille said the pilots were experienced in dealing with difficult weather conditions and were well-rested.

The plane was flying from Burkino Faso's capital, Ouagadougou, en route to Algiers when it crashed in the remote desert of eastern Mali near the border with Burkina Faso.

The six-person crew was Spanish while 54 people among the passengers were French. The other passengers came from Burkina

Faso, Lebanon, Canada, Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

French President Francois Hollande told families of the victims that it was possible for them to visit the site of the crash this year in the presence of French troops.

Investigators expect the identification of all the crash victims to last until early 2015. - Sapa-dpa

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