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MOSCOW, July 24. /ITAR-TASS/. There were no Russians on board an Air Algerie plane that crashed in Niger on Thursday, a Russian Foreign Ministry source told ITAR-TASS.
"As far as we know, there were no Russians onboard the airliner that crashed (in Niger),” the source said.
The Russian embassy in Algeria has been in contact with the Algerian authorities who did not confirm that there were Russian nationals onboard.
A total of 116 people were onboard the Air Algerie passenger airplane, among them citizens of at least 15 countries, Algerie Press Service news agency reported citing a communique released by Air Algerie airline.
Air Agerie plane crashes in Niger
Air Algerie’s passenger plane has crashed in the Republic of Niger, Algerian TV reports. Earlier it was reported that Air Algerie lost communication with one of its flights en route from the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou to Algeria’s capital, the city of Algiers. According to the air carrier, air traffic control services have lost connection with the plane 50 minutes after it departed from Ouagadougou.
Spanish air carrier Swiftair reported that all the crewmembers of the missing plane — two pilots and four flight attendants — were citizens of Spain. McDonnell Douglas MD-80 jet belonged to Swiftair, but was operated by Air Algerie.
A source in Air Algerie told AFP news agency that the “plane was near the border of Algeria, when its crew was asked to change the route due to poor visibility to avoid the risk of colliding with another flight en route from Algiers to Bamako”.
The connection with the plane was lost after it changed the route.