Cause undetermined in fatal Mali air crash probe: French investigators

20th September 2014, Comments 0 comments

Investigators probing the crash of an Air Algerie flight in Mali that killed 116 people in July said on Saturday there was no obvious lead yet and all possibilities, including terrorism, were being explored.

"At the moment... nothing is telling us that we can rule out or confirm terrorism. We are not favouring any line of inquiry," Bernarde Boudaille, of France's Bureau of Investigations and Analyses (BEA) air safety agency, told reporters in the Malian capital Bamako.

Flight AH5017, a McDonnell Douglas 83 jet that had taken off on July 24 from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso bound for Algiers, crashed in the Mali desert after its pilots asked to turn back as bad weather struck.

France bore the brunt of the tragedy, with nearly half of the victims its citizens. Other passengers came from Burkina Faso, Lebanon, Algeria, Spain, Canada, Germany and Luxembourg.

Presenting the initial report into a probe into the tragedy, Boudaille and the head of Mali's civil aviation accident commission, N'Faly Cisse, said the crew was experienced and not hampered by fatigue, and prepared to deal with difficult weather.

© 2014 AFP

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