Algerian military plane crash

Algerian military transport plane crashed in mountains in the north-east of the country with 103 passengers and crew on board, BBC reports.

The Hercules C-130 crashed in a mountainous area of Oum al-Bouaghi province, en route to Constantine. One survivor has been found and the search continues, emergency services official Col Farid Nechad told public radio.

The plane is said to have been carrying military personnel and family members. Women and children were among 71 bodies recovered from the crash site, public radio reported.

The plane’s original departure point is believed to have been the Sahara Desert garrison city of Tamanrasset, 1,500km (950 miles) south of Constantine, but it had made a stop in Ouargla.

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A source told radio station Ennahar – which has close links to the government and army – that contact was lost with the military plane between Oum al-Bouaghi and Constantine, as it may have
been starting to make its descent prior to landing.

It crashed into Djebel Fertas mountain, some 380km (240 miles) east of the capital Algiers, senior military official Col Lahmadi Bouguern was quoted as saying on state media. He said bad weather and gusty winds were the probable cause of the crash.

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The plane was carrying 99 passengers – soldiers and their families – as well as four crew members, a security source told AFP news agency. This is the worst plane crash in Algeria for more than 10 years and the third involving an Algerian military Hercules.

An Air Algerie Boeing 737 crashed on take-off from Tamanrasset in 2003, killing all but one of the 103 people on board.

News Reporter

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