An Algerian military plane crashed in northern Algeria killing at least 257 people, the first major plane disaster in the country, the defence ministry said Wednesday.
The incident happened shortly after the aircraft, an Ilyushin Il-76, took off from Boufarik military airport near the capital Algiers today morning. Majority of the dead are army personnel and their families, according to the defence ministry. Ten crew members were also killed.
The ministry said the cause the crash is yet to be identified. This is the deadliest plane crash since July 2014, when the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing 298 onboard.
The plane was heading to Tindouf, an area on Algeria’s border with Western Sahara, but crashed on the airport’s perimeter, the ministry added.