Poor weather was the most likely cause of the crash of an Air Algerie flight in the West African state of Mali that killed 118 people on board, French officials said on Friday.
Investigators at the scene of the crash in northern Mali concluded the airliner broke apart when it hit the ground, the officials said, suggesting this meant it was unlikely to have been the victim of an attack.
"French soldiers who are on the ground have started the first investigations. Sadly, there are no survivors," French President Francois Hollande told reporters.
A column of 100 soldiers and 30 vehicles from the French force stationed in the region arrived early on Friday morning to secure the crash site near the northern Mali town of Gossi and to recover bodies, a Defense Ministry official said.
Hollande said one of the black box flight recorders had already been recovered and would be analyzed quickly.
"The plane’s debris is concentrated in a small area, but it is too early to draw conclusions," Hollande said of the wreckage of the plane carrying at least 51 French nationals that crashed near the border with Burkina Faso, from where it had taken off.