April 21, 2018

Over 100 feared dead after military plane crash in Algeria

15 April 2018, 05:21 | Erma Lawrence

At Least 100 Killed as Military Plane Crashes in Algeria

Death toll from Algeria plane crash raised to 180

In a tragic incident, an Algerian military transport plane crashed near Baufarik Airport on Wednesday killing 257 onboard.

The tragic event happened on Wednesday morning shortly after the aircraft took off from Boufarik military airport near the capital Algiers.

The North African country has suffered a string of military and civilian aviation disasters but yesterday's was Algeria's deadliest ever plane crash and the world's fourth costliest in human lives in 20 years.

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika after the crash announced three days of national mourning, adding that prayers for the dead will be held on Friday, news agency AP reported.

In 2014, 77 people died when a plane carrying members of the Algerian air force and their families crashed near Mount Fertas, about 310 miles east of Algiers.

In 2003, another Algerian C-130 transport crashed when its engine caught fire near the Boufarik air base, killing 10 people.

Victims' remains were being transported to a military hospital in the town of Ain Naadja for identification.

Most of the dead were army personnel and their families, the defence ministry said.

NTSB investigators were at the crash site Tuesday examining the burned wreckage next to a tree. Tindouf is home to many refugees from the neighbouring Western Sahara, a disputed territory annexed by Morocco. In recent decades, Algeria has bought military planes from both the USA and Russian Federation.

A statement from the defense ministry confirming the crash gave no casualty toll, TSA reported.

Algeria is the chief backer of the Polisario Front, which Morocco accuses of setting up military posts in a UN-monitored buffer zone in the Western Sahara near the border with Algeria. There was a single survivor.

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