ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) -- Officials say heavy rain has been reported in the area where a plane carrying 116 people disappeared from radar today over the African country of Mali. The Air Algerie flight was on its way from neighboring Burkina Faso to Algeria.
France's transport minister says the crew's last message asked air control to change the plane's route because of the heavy rains in the area.
The plane was being operated by the Spanish airline Swiftair. Burkina Faso's transport minister says 50 French nationals were among those on board.
The plane had been missing for hours before the news was made public.
Mali is between Burkina Faso and Algeria. Unrest has plagued the northern part of Mali in recent years. But a senior French official says it seems unlikely that fighters in Mali would have the kind of weapons that could shoot down a plane.