French President Francois Hollande has said that there were no survivors of the crashed Air Algerie jetliner, and one of the aircraft’s two black boxes had been found in the wreckage.
He added that the black box of the aircraft, retrieved by a French military unit, is being taken to the Malian city of Gao.
Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane early on Thursday after pilots reported severe storms.
The 116 passengers on the Air Algerie flight included 51 French citizens.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told French radio network RTL that the aircraft was destroyed at the moment of impact, adding that though no conclusions had been made; there were reasons to believe the plane did not crash due to weather conditions.