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54 French passengers die in Air Algerie plane crash: French FM

English.news.cn   2014-07-25 23:35:35

PARIS, July 25 (Xinhua) -- French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Friday revised upwards the number of French victims killed in Air Algerie plane crash to 54 including three with dual nationality.

"The death toll is terrible: 118 passengers were on board, including 54 French, among them three with dual nationality," Fabius said during a press briefing with the Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and the Minister of Transport, Frederic Cuvilier.

"Everything must be done to shed light as soon as possible (on the crash)," he added, stressing "it is still premature to determine with certainty the cause of this drama."

Fabius also pledged full mobilization to identify victims before sending them home despite "difficult material condition of researches."

"Everything must be done to bring the victims back to their families as soon as possible," he said.

The wreckage of the Spanish MD-83 aircraft was located in an area of 900 square kilometers , in a savannah where access is very difficult, especially in rainy season, according to French top diplomat.

One of the aircraft's two black boxes has been found in the site and was transferred to Gao in northern Mali to be rapidly analyzed and help to determine the crash, French President Francois Hollande said earlier in the day, adding he did not excluding any theory of the crash.

About 200 military officials including 120 French, 40 Dutch and 40 Malians have been deployed in the site "to secure the area, which is not one that risks immediate conflicts, and to prepare the ground for the arrival of investigators," Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said at a joint press meeting.

"Despite the lack of immediate danger, this zone is subject to a relative uncertainty due to the presence of certain terrorist groups," he added.

Operated by Air Algerie, the Spanish MD-83 reported missing 50 minutes after it took off from Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, en route to Algiers on Thursday.

Editor: yan
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