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Pilots of Air Algerie jet asked to turn back because of bad weather: France

Published on Jul 29, 2014 6:52 AM
 
This image grab made from a handout video filmed and released by the French Etat-Major des Armees (EMA) / Armee de Terre on July 25, 2014 shows an Air Algerie sign on a piece od debris at the crash site of the Air Algerie flight AH5017 in Mali's Gossi region, west of Gao. France said on Monday the pilots of the Air Algerie passenger plane that crashed in Mali, killing all 118 people on board, had asked to turn back in a new development to a complex probe into the tragedy. -- PHOTO: AFP / ECPAD / EMA / ARMEE DE TERRE

PARIS (AFP) - France said on Monday the pilots of the Air Algerie passenger plane that crashed in Mali, killing all 118 people on board, had asked to turn back in a new development to a complex probe into the tragedy.

"What we know for sure is that the weather was bad that night, that the plane crew had asked to change route then to turn back before all contact was lost," Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters in his latest briefing about last week's disaster.

Reports that the crew asked to amend their route because of bad weather conditions emerged almost as soon as the tragedy came to light on Thursday, but the revelation that they subsequently asked to turn back is a new development.

Speaking hours after the black box flight recorders of the McDonnell Douglas 83 jet arrived in Paris from Mali to help investigators, Mr Fabius said air crash experts currently on the remote desert site of the accident were working in "extremely difficult conditions".

 
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