More than 250 people, including members of Western Sahara’s Polisario independence movement, were killed on Wednesday when a military plane crashed in a field outside Algeria’s capital, officials said. The cause of the crash was unclear, and an investigation has been opened, according to a Defense Ministry statement. Emergency services converged on the area near the Boufarik military base after the crash.
"The plane was carrying soldiers," Mohammed Achour, chief spokesman for the civil protection agency, told The Associated Press. The Defense Ministry did not provide a death toll but expressed condolences to the victims' families. The flight had just taken off from Boufarik, about 30 kilometres southwest of the capital Algiers, for a military base in Bechar in southwest Algeria, Achour said. It was scheduled to make a layover in Tindouf in southern Algeria, home to many refugees from the neighbouring Western Sahara, a disputed territory annexed by Morocco. The Soviet-designed Il-76 military transport plane crashed in an agricultural zone with no residents, Achour said.
Here are the top 10 developments around the Algeria plane crash near the military base of Boufarik:
1. 257 passengers were on the military plane. All of them are dead, including 26 Western Sahara Nationals.
"There are more than 100 deaths. We can't say exactly how many at this point," Mohammed Achour, chief spokesman for the civil protection agency, told The Associated Press.He said the plane was carrying soldiers. The Defense Ministry did not provide a death toll but expressed condolences to the victims' families.
2. 14 ambulances were at the scene and injured people were being transferred to hospital.
3. The flight had just taken off from Boufarik, about 30 kilometers southwest of the capital Algiers, for a military base in Bechar in southwest Algeria, chief spokesman for the civil protection agency said. It was scheduled to make a layover in Tindouf in southern Algeria, home to many refugees from neighboring Western Sahara, a disputed territory annexed by Morocco.
4. Emergency services have been dispatched to the site of the crash.
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5. Boufarik is located in northern Algeria, near the Mediterranean sea, some 30 kilometres from the capital, Algiers.
6. The Algerie Presse service agency said the Iliouchine-type plane was headed for Bechar in south-western Algeria.
8. In 2014, Air Algerie flight disappeared from radar screens over Mali 50 minutes after takeoff en route from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers with 110 passengers and six crew on board including 51 French nationals. The crash killed 77 people.
9. Small plane crash on golf course kills 6 in Phoenix suburb: Another plane crash, in the US, killed six people. The identities of those killed in the Monday night's fiery crash in Scottsdale were not made public. Nobody on the ground was hurt, said Kevin Watts, a Scottsdale Police Department spokesman.
10. Pilot dies in Myanmar military plane crash: A Myanmar pilot died on Wednesday after a "technical failure" caused his military jet fighter to plummet into a paddy field in the centre of the country, the army said. A live video on Facebook showed flames billowing up from the crash site near Kyunkone village about an hour away from the capital Naypyidaw. Local people found the unconscious body of the pilot attached to his parachute nearby and tried to drag him away from the scattered debris for medical help. The army chief's office later confirmed on its Facebook page that the crash was due to a "technical failure" and that the pilot died of his injuries on the way to a military hospital in nearby Taungoo town.
With inputs from Agencies