Family of Gatineau man aboard downed Air Algerie flight

There's a sad local connection to the Air Algerie tragedy.

A Gatineau man's family, making the move to Canada, were killed in the crash.

The Air Algerie flight was the first leg of a long journey to a new life - a dream that for a Gatineau man and his family that has been shattered.

Mamadou Zoungrana's wife and six and 13-year-old sons were finally moving to Canada, two years after Zoungrana.

He had left Burkina Faso to build a better life for them, and was working as a technician at the Papineau Hospital.

Colleague Patricia Baril told French language affiliate NRJ, Zoungrana couldn't wait for his family to arrive.

"Mamadou was counting down the days until his family came to rejoin him," she said in French. "It was his goal to give them a better life here."

She said people at work had been pooling together to buy winter clothes for his children.

"Everyone is so sorry, powerless," she said. "We find it unimaginable. We don't have any words. It's a nightmare."

Zoungrana's wife and children were not yet Canadian citizens. They were three of 116 people on board.

The plane went down Thursday morning, about an hour after taking off from Ouagadougo. It was destined for Algiers.

Wreckage was found in Mali, close to the Burkina Faso border.

French President François Hollande said there were no survivors.

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