NEW YORK (TIP): In a third major international aviation disaster in a week, following the downing of a Malaysian Boeing 777 over eastern Ukraine and the crash of a passenger plane off Taiwan, an Air Algerie jetliner with 116 people aboard crashed Thursday, July 24, in a rainstorm over northern Mali, and officials said its wreckage has been found. The jet, an MD-83, disappeared from radar less than an hour after departing Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, en route to Algiers.

Officials in Burkina Faso said burned wreckage with human remains was located in Mali, 31 miles from the border with Burkina Faso. A search had been underway for wreckage in the remote region known for separatist violence. The plane was owned by Spanish company Swiftair and leased by Air Algerie. “We sent men, with the agreement of the Mali government, to the site, and they found the wreckage of the plane with the help of the inhabitants of the area,” said Gen. Gilbert Diendere, a close aide to Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore and head of the crisis committee set up to investigate the flight.

“They found human remains and the wreckage of the plane totally burnt and scattered,” he said. Burkina Faso’s government said the country will observe 48 hours of mourning. French President Francois Hollande said after an emergency meeting in Paris, “Everything allows us to believe this plane crashed in Mali.” He said the crew changed its flight path because of “particularly difficult weather conditions.

” The airline said on Twitter that the plane went down about 40 miles from the Malian city of Gao. Before vanishing, the pilots sent a final message to ask Niger air control to change its route because of heavy rain, Burkina Faso Transport Minister Jean Bertin Ouedraogo said. The passengers included 51 French, 27 Burkina Faso nationals, eight Lebanese, six Algerians, five Canadians, four Germans, two Luxembourg nationals, one Swiss, one Belgian, one Egyptian, one Ukrainian, one Nigerian, one Cameroonian and one Malian, Ouedraogo said. The six crewmembers were Spanish, according to the Spanish pilots’ union.