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257 dead as military plane crashes in Algeria

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Boufarik (Algeria): An Algerian military plane crashed and caught fire today killing 257 people, mostly army personnel and members of their families, officials said.

An AFP photographer at the scene saw the charred wreckage of the plane in a field near the Boufarik airbase from where the plane had taken off.
Hundreds of ambulances and dozens of fire trucks with their sirens wailing rushed to the scene of the crash about 25 kilometres southwest of Algiers.

The defence ministry said in a statement that 247 passengers and 10 crew were killed without mentioning any survivors.

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 Ilyushin II-76 transport plane was bound for Tindouf in southwest Algeria.

Algeria has suffered a string of military and civilian aviation disasters.

Two military planes collided mid-flight in December 2012 during a training exercise in Tlemcen, in the far west of the country, killing the pilots of both planes.

In February 2014, 77 people died when a military plane carrying army personnel and family members crashed between Tamanrasset in southern Algeria and the eastern city of Constantine. Only one person survived after the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft came down in the mountainous Oum El Bouaghi region. The defence ministry blamed that crash on bad weather.

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