The French president’s office has announced that the wreckage of an Air Algerie flight has been discovered in Mali.
The plane had 116 passengers and crew on board and is believed to have crashed.
More than 50 of the passengers were French. The six crew members were Spanish.
The plane was owned by Spanish airline SwiftAir who leased it to Air Algerie.
Rerporters gathered outside the Madrid headquarters of SwiftAir but the company has refused to speak to the media since the incident.
A member of the Mali crisis unit did make a statement on local television.
“The mission found pieces of the plane on the site, and this team found, sadly, dead bodies,” said General Gilbert Diendere, Burkina Faso Commander-in-Chief.
“We were not able to evaluate the situation on the ground as night fell, but the team has confirmed that it has seen the remains of the plane, totally burned out and scattered over the ground,” added Diendere.
The wreckage of the plane was discovered between the town of Gossi and the Burkina Faso border. It had been en route to Algeirs.
The pilot is said to have asked to change course due to bad weather.
Stormy conditions were reported in the area at the time of the incident, described as a fierce sandstorm.
The plane crash comes one week after a Malaysia Airlines plane was downed over Ukraine, and a TransAsia Airways plane crashed off Taiwan during a thunderstorm on Wednesday.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was asked if he suspected a terrorist attack. He said the cause of the crash may have been the bad weather, but nothing had been ruled out.