Turkish President expresses condolences over plane crash in Algeria

12 April, 2018, 07:23 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Plane Crash

At least 257 people died after a military plane crashed into a field in Algeria on Wednesday.

In the hours after the crash was initially reported, the death toll climbed sharply Wednesday, as emergency and military crews worked at the scene.

There was no immediate word on casualties after the plane went down near the Boufarik airbase.

Algerian army officials have ordered an investigation into the cause of the crash and plan to visit the scene.

Around 100 military personnel were on board the Ilyushin Il-76 transport plane, a military source told AFP, asking not to be named.

In the south, the Algerian-backed Polisario Front seeking independence for Western Sahara ordered a week of mourning for the 30 dead Sahrawi people from its refugee camps in Tindouf, a statement from the group said.

The Algeria crash is also the second-deadliest plane crash since 2003.

Rabat considers Western Sahara an integral part of Morocco and proposes autonomy for the resource-rich territory.


According to the plane manufacturer's website, the IL-76, a four-engine plane built in the Soviet Union and then Russian Federation, can transport between 126 and 225 passengers depending on the model and configuration.

The flight had just taken off from the Boufarik military base, 30 kilometres southwest of the capital Algiers, for a military base in Bechar in southwest Algeria, according to Farouk Achour, the chief spokesman for the civil protection services.

In December 2012, two military jets conducting routine training operations collided in mid-air near Tlemcen, in Algeria's northwest, killing the pilots of both planes.

"The number of martyrs to mourn has risen to (247) passengers and ten (10) crew members, most of whom are personnel from the National People's Army as well as members of their families", the Ministry of National Defense said.

Only one person survived after the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft came down in the mountainous Oum El Bouaghi region.

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.

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

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