Nearly 260 dead in military plane crash in Algeria

At least 257 people were killed Wednesday when a military plane crashed near the Boufarik airbase outside the Algerian capital of Algiers, officials said.

Rescuers stand next to the wreckage of a military transport aircraft that crashed in Boufarik near Algiers, Algeria, on Wednesday. At least 257 people were killed after the military transport crashed after taking off. Photo by EPA-EFE/STR
Rescuers stand next to the wreckage of a military transport aircraft that crashed in Boufarik near Algiers, Algeria, on Wednesday. At least 257 people were killed after the military transport crashed after taking off. Photo by EPA-EFE/STR

The Russian-made Ilyushin Il-76 plane was carrying troops and equipment and was headed to the western Algerian state of Bechar at the time of the crash.

As many as 14 ambulances and ten fire trucks were sent to help pull people from the wreckage. Roads around the airport were closed to help carry out the rescue.

Footage from the crash site shows smoke billowing from an area near the runway of the airport, where the aircraft went down shortly after takeoff.

Algerian army officials have ordered an investigation into the cause of the crash and plan to visit the scene.

In 2014, 77 people died when a plane carrying members of the Algerian air force and their families crashed near Mount Fertas, about 310 miles east of Algiers.

By Sara Shayanian