257 dead in Algerian military plane crash: defense ministry says

Hugh Fox
April 11, 2018

Firefighters and civil security officers work at the scene of a fatal military plane crash in Boufarik, near the Algerian capital, Algiers, Wednesday, April 11, 2018.

The number of people believed to have died in the crash on Wednesday has risen to 257, according to state TV.

More than 200 people are believed dead after an Algerian military plane crashed near a major base.

The Ministry said the plane was departing for the western province of Oran.

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'There are more than 100 deaths.

Deputy Defence Minister General Ahmed Gaid Salah visited the site and ordered an investigation into the circumstances of the crash, the defence ministry said.

The previous deadliest crash on Algerian soil occurred in 2003, when 102 people were killed after a civilian airliner crashed at the end of the runway in Tamanrasset.

The Soviet-designed Il-76 military transport plane crashed in a farm field with no people nearby, Achour said. No death toll was immediately available.

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Dramatic footage broadcast on Algerian TV shows black smoke billowing wreckage of the transport plane in the middle of what appears to be an agricultural field.

According to reports, the plane, an Ilyushin Il-76, was heading to the western Algerian city of Bechar and went down near an airbase soon after taking off.

Algeria's Defense Ministry said that those killed included 247 passengers and 10 crew members.

Algeria's defence ministry issued a statement expressing condolences to families of the victims, but did not give a death toll. The army chief's office later confirmed on its Facebook page that the crash was due to a "technical failure" and that the pilot died of his injuries on the way to a military hospital in nearby Taungoo town.

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