French officials have sent troops to secure the site in northern Mali where an Air Algerie plane crashed yesterday, but expect no miracles: "Sadly, there is no survivor," French President Francois Hollande said today, reports the Guardian. He also said that one black box had been recovered and was being evaluated, though the best guess remains that the plane went down over the desert in bad weather. France had about 50 passengers on the plane and is taking a lead role in the investigation, while the total number of people aboard has been raised to 118 from 116.
France's interior minister cautioned that "no hypothesis can be excluded as long as we don't have the results of an investigation," reports AP. He noted that terrorist groups "hostile to Western interests" operate in the area near the Burkina Faso border where the plane went down. Still, officials say the final message from the pilots of the Swiftair MD-83 was a request to change their flight path because of heavy rain. The plane is in a "disintegrated state" with the wreckage "concentrated in a limited area," says Hollande, according to CNN.