Video footage has emerged showing how a plane believed to be operated by Mali’s air force crashed and went up in flames at the airport in Gao, northern Mali, last Saturday.
There has been speculation that mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner group may have been on board but this has not been independently verified.
The plane is seen landing in what appears to be a late touchdown, before overshooting the runway at high speed.
It then powers through what appear to be concrete barriers before falling down an embankment into a gulley and erupting into flames.
An image of the wreckage of the plane has also now appeared online, showing how a huge part of the plane’s body was consumed by the fire:
A Planet Labs’ satellite image taken on Saturday morning captured smoke rising from the wreckage. The freshly disturbed ground between the wreckage and the runaway was also visible, a sign of how it overshot the runaway.
Mali’s army is yet to comment on the crash. According to the AFP news agency, the junta has just paid tribute to a lieutenant colonel who relatives say was killed aboard the plane in Gao on Saturday.
The BBC has come across social media posts paying tribute to a Russian pilot said to have died in the crash.
Malian forces, Wagner mercenaries and the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali all use the Gao airport.
The country has been facing increasing attacks from Islamist militants and Tuareg rebels in the north.
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