A military transport plane, carrying civilians and soldiers, crashed near Algiers, the capital city of Algeria. The Algeria plane crash is the deadliest aviation disaster to occur in the North African country in recent years. According to reports, the victim count has risen to at least 257, mostly including army personnel and their families. Ten crew members were also killed in the accident. The victims also include 26 members, including women and children, of the Polisario Independence movement.
The Algeria plane crash occurred when the aircraft slammed into a field shortly after its takeoff from a military base in Boufarik, southwest of Algiers. The aircraft was a Russian built Ilyushin Il-76 Transporter. The plane was travelling to Bechar and Tindouf in the southwestern part of Algeria. Due to its close proximity to the Western Sahara region, Tindouf is home to many refugee camps of the Polisario front. The victims of this movement, involved in the accident, had received treatment in the capital. They were heading back to their base in Tindouff.
According to eye witnesses, one of the wings of the plane caught fire soon after takeoff. It then stumbled into an agricultural field, narrowly avoiding the highway. Firefighters and rescue workers immediately reached the crash site. However, they have not reported any survivors so far.
Aftermath of Algeria Plane Crash
Rescue workers are trying hard to identify the remains of all victims. They have transported the victims’ remains to a military hospital in the town of Ain Naadja. Although the cause of the accident is not clear, the Army Chief has ordered a thorough investigation. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has declared a 3 day nation wide mourning.
This plane crash is the deadliest in the world since July 2014, when a Malaysian Airlines flight carrying 298 people was shot down in Ukraine. All the passengers on board MH17 were killed in the accident.
Earlier in February 2014, an Algerian military plane crashed in the mountainous terrains of Oum El Bouaghi. The accident killed all 78 passengers who were on board.