UPDATE: Burkinabe community grieving following Air Algerie flight

Air Algerie crash site
The Associated Press

The Quebec Burkinabe community has been left reeling by the crash of Air Algerie flight 5017 over Mali yesterday.

Over 110 people were killed, including a dozen from Quebec, according to a Montreal-based community organization serving ex-pats from Burkina Faso.

Eleven of the dead are native to the small landlocked West African country.

The other has been identified as 35-year-old mother of three Isabelle Prevost of Sherbrooke.

The dead come from all over the province. including a family of four from Longueuil. The children's uncle was also aboard and leaves a pregnant widow and three-year-old daughter.

Other vicitms include a mother and her two children from Gatineau and a wife and mother of one from Jonquiere. A woman in Quebec City is also mourning her son.

uebec's small population of Burkina Faso natives - estimated to number between 500 and 800 - is coming to grips with yesterday's Air Algerie tragedy.

Yvan Sawadogo of the Burkinabe Association of Greater Montreal says the community's size makes the disaster all the more painful.

Sawadogo says the community is rallying however, and organizing efforts to offer moral and financial support to relatives of the victims.

"A lot of people know each other, so it's been very difficult since we've learned of this tragedy," he says.

Among the relatives of the dead is Longueuil resident Rita Somda. The mother of a three-year-old daughter is expecting another child very soon. She lost her husband and four members of his family in the crash.

CTV reporter Denise Roberts met her at her home this morning. Roberts says the community, as well as her husband's colleagues, have been coming by to offer their support.

"She's only been in Montreal for a year-and-a-half," says Roberts. She says Somda was working in the communications field and was about to go on maternity leave.

Somda told Roberts that she will be travelling to Burkina Faso as soon as she is able.

"All of their family is over there and they are all grieving this terrible loss," says Roberts.

There will be a candlelight vigil tonight at 8:30 pm at Marie-Victorin Park in Longueuil.

The association is setting up a crisis and support network for locals. Anyone willing to help can contact the organization at abgmca.org.

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  1. Mike posted on 07/25/2014 06:23 PM
    Wow 10 % of the people from Quebec?
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