257 Dead in Algerian Military-Plane Crash

257 Dead in Algerian Military-Plane Crash

By IndraStra Global News Team

Image Attribute:  Ennahar TV Screengrab at Ground Zero of the plane crash.

Image Attribute:  Ennahar TV Screengrab at Ground Zero of the plane crash.

Algeria’s Ministry of National Defense says 257 people, mostly soldiers and members of their families, were killed when a military plane crashed in the North African country. This brings the initial death toll of 105 to a significantly higher number.

The Russian-made Ilyushin-76 cargo plane (but plane-tracking site AirLive.net reported it was an Il-78 cargo plane) crashed near Boufarik military airport in northern Algeria with 247 passengers and 10 crew members, the ministry said in a statement. It did not provide further details.Boufarik is located between Algerian capital, Algiers and the city of Bilda. The airport is located some 20 miles (30 kilometers) from the Algiers.

TV station Ennahar showed images of smoke rising from the plane's fuselage, tilted to one side, with part of the aircraft sticking out above olive trees. The victims' bodies were transported to the Algerian army's central hospital in the town of Ain Naadja for identification.

The plane crashed minutes after taking off from Boufarik military airport. It was headed for Bechar in southwestern Algeria. It was scheduled to make a layover in Tindouf in southern Algeria, home to many refugees from neighboring Western Sahara, a disputed territory annexed by Morocco. The cause was not immediately known.

A member of Algeria’s ruling Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) party told the private Ennahar TV station the dead included 26 members of Polisario Front (Frente Polisario), an Algerian-backed group fighting for the independence of neighboring Western Sahara, a territory also claimed by Morocco in a long-running dispute.


Map Attribute: Google Maps


PAST AIR ACCIDENTS

In February 2014, an Algerian Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules crashed in a mountainous area in eastern Algeria killing 77 passengers and leaving one survivor.

In July 2014, Air Algérie Flight 5017 disappeared from radar screens over Mali 50 minutes after takeoff en route from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers with 110 passengers and six crew on board including 51 French nationals. The crash killed 77 people.

With reporting by AFP, AP,  BBC, Ennahar TV, and Reuters