Algerian military plane crash kills 257 people

At least 257 people have been killed in a military plane crash near Algeria's capital, Algiers, state media reports. Pictured here are firefighters and soldiers at the scene of the military plane crash southwest of Algiers.

At least 257 people were killed on Wednesday when a military plane crash near the Algerian capital, Algiers, state media reported.

The aircraft crashed near the Boufarik air base, between Algiers and the city of Blida. Ten of those killed were the plane crew, according to state-run Radio Algérie.

It was not immediately clear whether there were any survivors. It is the deadliest plane crash since 2014, when 298 people were killed after a Malaysian airlines jet was shot down over Ukraine.

Algerian TV station Ennahar showed images of smoke rising from the plane’s fuselage, tilted to one side, with part of the aircraft sticking out above olive trees. Dozens of bodies were seen in numbered bags as paramedics and firefighters worked at the crash site. Cranes at the site have begun trying to move some of the debris.

One man told Ennahar he was at home when he heard an explosion, and drove with a neighbor to the site, where they tried to put out the fire and reach victims.

“We saw bodies … it was a catastrophe,” he said.

“We were afraid the plane would explode. We covered some bodies and put out some fires.”

Algeria has a shaky aviation safety record.

In 2014, a Hercules C-130 carrying members of the country’s air force and their families crashed in Algeria’s east, killing 77 people.

That same year, an Air Algérie flight crashed in Mali while flying between Bukina Faso and Algeria, killing all 116 people on board.