Algerian military plane crash kills at least 257 people

PHOTO: Algerian soldiers watch the military plane after it crashed in Boufarik, near the Algerian capital, Algiers, April 11, 2018.PlayAnis Belghoul/AP
WATCH Algerian military plane crash kills at least 257 people

At least 257 people died today in a military plane crash in northern Algeria, according to state media.

The Algerian military aircraft crashed into a field this morning shortly after takeoff from the Boufarik military base, some 20 miles southwest of the capital Algiers, not far from the Mediterranean Sea. Algeria's defense ministry was quoted by state TV as saying that 247 passengers and 10 flight crew were among those killed.

PHOTO: Rescuers are seen around the wreckage of an Algerian army plane which crashed near the Boufarik airbase from where the plane had taken off on April 11, 2018.Ryad Kramki/AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers are seen around the wreckage of an Algerian army plane which crashed near the Boufarik airbase from where the plane had taken off on April 11, 2018.

Authorities transported the victims' bodies to a military hospital for identification, according to state TV.

An investigation has been opened into the cause of the crash, which was unclear.

PHOTO: Algerian rescuers stand next to the wreckage of a military transport aircraft that crashed in Boufarik, near the Algeria capitol, Algiers, April 11, 2018.STR/EPA-EFE via REX/Shutterstock
Algerian rescuers stand next to the wreckage of a military transport aircraft that crashed in Boufarik, near the Algeria capitol, Algiers, April 11, 2018.

PHOTO: Bodies of victims are covered with blankets after Algerian military plane crashed near an airport outside the capital Algiers, Algeria, April 11, 2018 in this still image taken from a video.ENNAHAR TV/Handout/ via Reuters
Bodies of victims are covered with blankets after Algerian military plane crashed near an airport outside the capital Algiers, Algeria, April 11, 2018 in this still image taken from a video.

The Algerian prime minister's office said in a statement that the Iliouchine-type plane was carrying "many" members of the North African nation's armed forces.

Algerian lawmakers observed a minute of silence today in memory of the victims, according to the prime minister's office.

PHOTO: Algerian soldiers watch the military plane after it crashed in Boufarik, near the Algerian capital, Algiers, April 11, 2018.Anis Belghoul/AP
Algerian soldiers watch the military plane after it crashed in Boufarik, near the Algerian capital, Algiers, April 11, 2018.

PHOTO: This image dated April 11, 2018, was posted by Algerian news agency ALG24, shows firefighters and soldiers at the scene of a fatal military plane crash near Boufarik military base near the Algerian capital, Algiers.ALG24 via AP
This image dated April 11, 2018, was posted by Algerian news agency ALG24, shows firefighters and soldiers at the scene of a fatal military plane crash near Boufarik military base near the Algerian capital, Algiers.

PHOTO: Algerian news agency ALG24 posted photos of firefighters and soldiers at the scene of a fatal military plane crash near Boufarik military base near the Algerian capital, Algiers, April 11, 2018.ALG24 via AP
Algerian news agency ALG24 posted photos of firefighters and soldiers at the scene of a fatal military plane crash near Boufarik military base near the Algerian capital, Algiers, April 11, 2018.

Algeria's civil protection agency spokesman Farouk Achour told The Associated Press that the plane was scheduled to make a layover in the southern town of Tindouf, which is home to many refugees from the neighboring Western Sahara, a resource-rich territory annexed by Morocco in 1975 to which the indigenous Sahrawis and the Moroccan government both lay claim.

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