100 soldiers feared dead as Algerian military plane crashes

15 Abril, 2018, 05:19 | Author: Gregg Anderson
  • ABC15    
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Algeria's defense ministry says 257 people have died when a military plane carrying soldiers and their families crashed soon after takeoff in a farm field in northern Algeria.

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.

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

The Algeria-backed Polisario Front, which is seeking independence of the Sahara, formerly under Spanish rule, said 30 Saharans, including women and children, died in the crash.

The plane was reportedly heading to Bechar, in the southwest of the country near the border with Morocco.

Some of their hometowns weren't immediately available, but police said the victims' families have been notified.

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National Transportation Safety Board investigator Eliott Simpson told reporters that investigators were working to "gather as much evidence as we can and try not to jump to conclusions" about a possible crash cause.

Back in 2012 December, two military jets also collided mid-air while they were on a routine training operations close to Tlemcen, in Algeria's northwest and the pilots of both the planes were found dead.

During a press conference on April 10, NTSB investigator Eliott Simpson, told reporters that they are looking into whether or not the plane was fit for six people.

Dozens of firefighters, rescue workers and military officials worked around the blackened fuselage of the aircraft, which had been ripped open near its wings.

Algerian TV network Ennahar published images of body bags lined up in a field after the crash. It is broadly used for every industrial freight and navy transport.

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