Plane crash in Africa kills 257 people
At least 257 people have been killed in a military plane crash near Algeria’s capital, Algiers, state media reports. The aircraft crashed near the Boufarik air base, between Algiers and the city of Bilda. Ten of those killed were the plane crew, according to state-run Radio Algerie.
“The number of martyrs has risen to 247 passengers and 10 members of the crew, most of whom are members of the army as well as their families,” said the ministry statement. “The bodies of the victims are being taken to the Central Hospital of the Army in Ain Naadja to identify them.”
TV station Ennahar showed images of smoke rising from the plane’s fuselage, tilted to one side, with part of the aircraft sticking out above olive trees. Dozens of bodies were seen in numbered bags as paramedics and firefighters worked at the crash site, reported CNN Africa.
According to the Washington Post, the Russian-built Ilyushin Il-76 was headed to the southwestern city of Bechar when it crashed just outside the Boufarik military air base in a farm field. The plane was scheduled to stop in the remote town of Tindouf along the Moroccan border, site of the sprawling refugee camps for Western Saharans that have fled the decades-old conflict with Morocco.