The Associated Press reported Thursday afternoon that Cuban president Raul Castro’s daughter, Mariela Castro, may have been on board the Air Algerie jet that went missing early that morning.
CBS News reports that the name Mariela Castro appeared on the passenger list of the missing West Africa flight. Castro told the media Thursday that it was a woman traveling on a Spanish passport. She further scolded media for reporting her missing before confirming the news.
The plane took off from the Ougadougou, Burkina Faso airport. Airport officials said that Mariela Castro was among the 110 passengers on board.
”Among the passengers of VOL AH5017, there were two EU civil servants of French nationality based in Ouagadougou and Mariela Castro, the niece of Fidel Castro, the former Cuban leader,” it said.
However, NBC reporter Mary Murray said she saw Castro on Thursday morning and that Mariela was not on the plane.
Venezuelan television network Telesur also reported that it had spoken with Mariela who is “alive and kicking, happy and healthy.”
Mariela Castro, a sexologist and gay rights activist, is the director of Cuba’s National Center for Sex Education.
Time News reports she was not on the flight. “I’m at a meeting, happy and healthy,” she told the television network TeleSUR. “I’m alive and kicking.”
The Air Algerie jet carrying 110 passengers and six crew members disappeared early Wednesday. The plane departed Burkina Faso for Algiers at 9:17 p.m. ET Wednesday but had not arrived at the scheduled time of 1:10 a.m. ET Thursday.
According to a Fox News report, a French Ministry of Defense official reported the Air Algerie jet that vanished from radar shortly after takeoff crashed in Mali and that two French fighter jets have located the wreckage.
There have been conflicting reports Thursday as to whether the plane had been located. Read Conflicting reports on location of missing Air Algerie jetliner for more details.