3 airliner crashes in a week: a summary

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jul 25 2014 02:37 AM | Updated as of Jul 25 2014 10:37 AM

3 airplane crashes in a week

PARIS - The civil aviation industry has suffered one of its worst weeks ever, with the loss of three airliners on three continents.

Here is a summary of the disasters.

MALI - Air Algerie Flight AH 5017 with more than 110 people on board went missing over Mali early Thursday and has probably crashed, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.

The plane dropped off the radar as it flew over Gao in northern Mali on its way from the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou to Algiers, a Malian official said.

Fabius said there were 51 French nationals aboard the flight, while Algerian radio said 26 from Burkina Faso were among the 116 passengers on the McDonnell Douglas MD-83 plane leased from Spanish company Swiftair.

Apart from seven Algerians, nationals from Canada, Ukraine and Luxembourg were also on board, it said, while an official source in Lebanon said at least 20 of its nationals were also on the flight.

The Mali region in question was seized by jihadist groups for several months in 2012 and remains very unstable despite the Islamists being driven out in a French-led offensive.

The plane's six-member crew was Spanish, said Spain's airline pilots' union Sepla. A search for the plane was underway.

TAIWAN - TransAsia Airways domestic Flight GE222 crashed on Wednesday in torrential rain, killing 48 people, while 10 others survived.

The propeller-driven ATR 72-500 plane was carrying 54 passengers and four crew members when it crashed in Magong in the Penghu island chain.

The plane was at the end of a flight from Kaohsiung in southwestern Taiwan to the islands off the west coast when it crashed into two houses near Magong airport, injuring five people on the ground, officials said.

It was attempting to land for the second time after aborting an initial attempt during thunder and heavy rain as Typhoon Matmo pounded Taiwan.

Two French medical students were among the dead, the foreign ministry in Paris said.

UKRAINE - Malaysia Airways Flight MH17 was blown out of the sky on July 17, while flying over rebel-held east Ukraine on route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam, killing all 298 people aboard.

Western governments say the evidence points to the Boeing 777 plane having been shot down with a missile by pro-Russian separatists.

The passenger and crew list included people from 11 nations, almost two thirds of whom were Dutch, along with 44 Malaysians, 27 Australians and 12 Indonesians.

The bodies, which lay in summer temperatures for four days while separatist gunmen prevented international rescue workers and investigators from working in the area, were eventually turned over to international officials along with the aircraft's black boxes.

The aircraft was the second lost by the airline in four months, after the unexplained disappearance on March 8 of MH370 flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse