SPAIN has joined the investigation into the Air Algerie plane crash that killed 118 people.

Seven Spanish aviation experts are on the way to Mali to assist with the ongoing investigation into the crash, which happened on Thursday last week.

The experts have left the military air base Torrejon de Ardoz, and are heading to Mali’s capital, Bamako, according to reports.

Spain is also sending military aircraft to help transport victims – including six Spanish crew members – away from the crash site.

The Air Algerie flight AH5017 – chartered by Spanish company Swiftair – disappeared just 50 minutes after takeoff, after changing route due to bad weather.

The MD83 plane – which was on a flight path from Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, to Algiers – had reportedly successfully passed all technical checkups before flying.

The second black box was located over the weekend, and both are now to be transferred to France for immediate analysis.

Meanwhile officials are preparing for the process of identifying the remains of the dead.

French authorities said the disaster was most likely the result of extreme bad weather, but other possibilities – including terrorism – have not yet been ruled out.

Initial estimations put the death toll at 116, but this has since been increased to 118.

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