Algeri Military plane crash: at least 257 dead, officials say

 Algeria: At least 257 people, mostly soldiers and members of their families, were killed in an Algerian military plane crash Tuesday, the defence ministry said. The II-76 crashed shortly after take-off from the Boufarik airbase, about 25 kilometres (15 miles) southwest of the capital Algiers. The dead include the plane´s 10 crew and 247 passengers, most of them members of the armed forces, the ministry said in a statement.

Deputy Defence Minister General Ahmed Gaid Salah visited the site and ordered an investigation into the circumstances of the crash, the defence ministry said.

The Ilyushin II-76 transport plane was bound for Tindouf in southwest Algeria. Algeria has suffered a string of military and civilian aviation disasters.

Two military planes collided mid-flight in December 2012 during a training exercise in Tlemcen, in the far west of the country, killing the pilots of both planes.

In February 2014, 77 people died when a military plane carrying army personnel and family members crashed between Tamanrasset in southern Algeria and the eastern city of Constantine.

Only one person survived after the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft came down in the mountainous Oum El Bouaghi region. The defence ministry blamed that crash on bad weather.

An Air Algerie passenger plane flying from Burkina Faso to Algiers crashed in northern Mali in July 2014, killing all 116 people on board including 54 French nationals.

In October the same year, a military plane crashed in the south of the country during a training exercise, killing the two men on board.

That came more than a decade after all but one of the 103 people on an Air Algerie Boeing 737-200 died in March 2003 when it crashed on takeoff in the country´s south after an engine caught fire.

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