Algerian Plane Crash Latest Update: Conflicting Reports on Death Toll; President Declares National 3-Day Mourning
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | February 12, 2014 6:11 AM EST
More than 100 people were feared dead as an Algerian military transport plane carrying 103 people slammed into a mountainous area on Tuesday, according to reports.
Screenshot from Google Maps
Screenshot from Google maps showing Oum El Bouaghi province in eastern Algeria where the crash took place.
The C-130 Hercules aircraft carrying members of the armed forces crashed in a mountainous area in the Oum El Bouaghi province, about 500 km (300 miles) from the capital Algiers, Ennahar TV reported.
According to Reuters, a local official told the news agency that one person survived the crash while 53 bodies had been recovered. However, he declined to give details on the death toll, saying that search operation was still underway.
State news agency Algerie Presse Service (APS) reported that the aircraft, which took off from Algeria's southern Tamanrasset province, was bound for Constantine.
There are conflicting reports on the death toll with several media houses giving contradictory numbers.
Ennahar TV station reported that all the 103 people on board the plane were killed.
Israeli daily Haaretz, and news agencies, AFP and Associated Press reported that 102 people on board were feared dead with one surviving the crash.
Emergency services official Colonel Farid Nechad told public radio that they have found a survivor and the search operation was on.
A military official, Colonel Lahmadi Bouguern, told the APS that 99 passengers and four crew members were on board the ill-fated plane but the death toll couldn't be determined. He added 52 deaths had been confirmed by rescuers.
Bouguern said bad weather and strong winds might have caused the crash.
Tuesday's crash would be the worst aviation accident in Algeria since an Air Algerie Boeing 737 went down shortly after takeoff from Tamanrasset in 2003, killing 103 people. There was a lone survivor in that crash.
President Declares National Three-day Mourning
President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika sent a message of condolence to the families of victims of the crash of a military plane crash Tuesday in Oum El Bouaghi, and declared a National three-day mourning, according to APS.
(With Inputs from Reuters)
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