26 July 2014
Last updated at 17:05
French soldiers were the first to reach the crash site, where they discovered charred wreckage and no survivors
Search teams have located the second flight data recorder from an Air Algerie plane that crashed in Mali.
A UN team has been scouring the remote site where the plane came down, killing all 116 people on board.
Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane early on Thursday after pilots reported severe sandstorms.
France has revised the number of its nationals on board from 51 to 54. President Francois Hollande is due to meet victims’ families later.
Among the French contingent on board flight AH5017 was a family of 10.
Three days of national mourning are to be observed across France from Monday, Mr Hollande’s office said.
The plane, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83, had been chartered from Spanish airline Swiftair.
It was flying from Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, to Algiers.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told French radio network RTL on Friday that “the aircraft was destroyed at the moment it crashed”.
“We think the aircraft crashed for reasons linked to the weather conditions, although no theory can be excluded at this point,” he said.
Contact with flight AH 5017 was lost about 50 minutes after take-off from Ouagadougou early on Thursday morning, Air Algerie said.
The pilot had contacted Niger’s control tower in Niamey at around 01:30 GMT to change course because of a sandstorm, officials say.
McDonnell Douglas MD-83
- Twin rear-engine, short-medium range airliner
- More powerful version of the MD-80 type, based on earlier DC-9
- Range: 4,637km (2,881 miles)
- Capacity: 172 passengers
- First flew: 1984
Burkina Faso: 27 passengers
Belgium, Egypt, Ukraine, Switzerland, Nigeria, Mali, UK: 1
Figures released by Burkina Faso authorities