A military transport plane carrying relatives of members of the armed forces crashed in eastern Algeria yesterday, killing 102 people.
A civil defense official said 102 people died but one managed to survive. Commander Farid Nechad, who is based in Algiers but was coordinating recovery efforts, told The Associated Press that 103 people including the crew had been on the plane but so far only 55 bodies had been found due to the difficult conditions at the crash site. He did not give any further details about the survivor except to say the person had been sent to Constantine hospital.
The plane crashed in a mountainous area in the Oum El Bouaghi province, about 500 km (300 miles) from the capital Algiers, the report said. A senior military official told the official APS news agency that 99 passengers and four crew members had been on board the plane, but that the death toll was “yet to be determined”.
Colonel Lahmadi Bouguern also said that bad weather and gusty winds were probably the cause of the crash. The transport plane took off from Algeria’s southern Tamanrasset province and was bound for the eastern city of Constantine, APS said.
Yesterday’s plane crash would be the worst in Algeria since 2003 when an Air Algerie jet crashed shortly after takeoff from Tamanrasset, killing 102 people. The C-130, built by Lockheed, United States was broken into three parts.