An Air Algerie flight with 116 people aboard went missing Thursday after it dropped off the radar and a search has now been launched for the missing plane according to the airline's operator.
Air Algerie Flight AH5017 dropped off the radar tracking about 50 minutes after it left Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, according to information from the Algerian Press Service cited by NBC News. The jet took off at 1:17 a.m. local time and was expected to arrive at Algiers' Houari Boumediene Airport about four hours later.
According to CNN, the plane, an MD-83, left with 110 passengers, two pilots and four crew members aboard.
A private Spanish company, Swiftair, operates the plane for Air Algerie and noted in the CNN report that: "We have lost contact with the plane."
The company said its staff and emergency services were working to get more information on the situation.
"Unfortunately, for the moment we have no more information than you do. We will give you the latest news live," said Air Algerie via the airline's Twitter account.
French Secretary of Transport Frédéric Cuvillier said the plane went missing over Northern Mali, where Islamist militants are fighting the Malian government and French forces according to the Wall Street Journal. He noted that many French nationals were likely aboard.
This news comes on the heels of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over war-torn eastern Ukraine just last week and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration being forced to impose a temporary flight ban on American carriers using Tel Aviv airport when a Hamas-fired rocket landed near the airport earlier this week. The ban is no longer in effect.
Some 48 people also died Wednesday after a TransAsia Airways flight went down off the coast of Taiwan. Ten people were also injured.
While it is still unclear what happened to the Air Algerie Flight, the FAA has warned airlines to be extra careful when flying over Mali. The agency has banned U.S. carriers flying at lower altitudes over Mali due to the fighting there.