Skip to main content

A Swiftair MD83 plane operating for Air Algerie has disappeared from radar and is thought to have crashed. It was on a route from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers, an almost direct south-north track.  Reports are that it has come down in north-east Mali where a civil war is being fought. Conflicting reports are that it has come down in neighboring Niger where there there is also fighting.

The obvious concern is the possibility of it being shot down in light of MH17 however it appears to have been diverted shortly after take-off. Poor visibility is given as a reason although this is also linked to a suggestion the course change was needed to avoid colliding with another plane.

There was poor weather over the west of the Sahel. The likelihood is that this resulted in dust/sand storms which account for the reduced visibility. This would be a possible cause of engine failure.

An aviation expert interviewed on BBC News advised that Swiftair would likely be operating an additional plane to Air Algerie's normal service. That would tie in with the date as it is the end of Ramadan tomorrow and people would be returning to their families to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr.

4:36 AM PT: The London Evening Standard has a source giving information about a possible shoot-down

A senior French official said it was unlikely fighters in Mali had weaponry that could shoot down a plane.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the fighters have shoulder-fired weapons which could not hit an aircraft at cruising altitude.
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site