An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people disappeared from radar as it traveled from Burkina Faso to the Algerian capital, the Associated Press reported, as storms pushed south of the area of lost contact.
Approximately 50 minutes after takeoff, the airline reported that contact had been lost with the plane at 0155 GMT (9:55 p.m. EDT Wednesday).
French Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier said the plane vanished over northern Mali in northwest Africa, according to the AP. Cause has not yet been determined, though the flight encountered thunderstorm cells with frequent lightning across southern Mali.
According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani, the thunderstorms were not particularly violent.
"In general, there were scattered showers and thunderstorms across all of Burkina Faso and the southern half of Mali. This was with the monsoon trough which is typically found here in late July. So this activity was quite normal," Sagliani said.
The typical flight path from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, to Algiers, Algeria, is usually a straight line. It is not immediately clear whether the flight was diverted or not.