French investigators head to Mali crash site

PARIS (AP) - French investigators are due to arrive tomorrow at the scene of a plane crash in the northwest African country of Mali. In the meantime, more than 200 troops are guarding the site, in a desolate and restive region of the country.

Terrorism hasn't been ruled out as the cause, although officials say bad weather is the most likely reason for the crash, which killed all 118 people on board. Nearly half of the victims were French.

Soldiers today recovered one of the two flight recorders.

France's foreign minister says the debris field is in an area that is difficult to reach, "especially in this rainy season."

The pilots of the plane, which had been traveling from Burkina Faso to Algeria, had sent a final message asking air controllers to change their route because of heavy rain.

It was the third major plane disaster around the world within a week. A Malaysia Airlines flight was shot down last week over war-torn eastern Ukraine. The U.S. has blamed it on separatists firing a surface-to-air missile. On Wednesday, a Taiwanese plane crashed during a storm, killing 48 people.