A military transport aircraft belonging to the Algerian Air Force crashed Tuesday in the country’s eastern Oum El Bouaghi province, killing 103 people, media reported.
Citing Ennahar TV, Xinhua reported that the air traffic control of Algeria’s Constantine airport had lost contact with the C-130 Hercules aircraft before the accident, adding that 103 passengers on board were killed in the crash.
An officer in Algeria’s intelligence service told The Associated Press that everyone on board the plane, including the crew, died in the incident. If confirmed, Tuesday’s crash would be the worst in Algeria since 2003, when an Air Algerie jet crashed shortly after takeoff killing 102 people.
That officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, cited poor weather conditions as the cause of the crash.
Witnesses in the area told The Associated Press the plane clipped a mountain and then crashed.
Ambulances have been dispatched to the area to deal with casualties, many of whom are believed to be soldiers.
Members of three soldiers’ families were also believed to have been on board, a security source told Agence France-Presse.
The transport plane took off from Algeria’s southern Tamanrasset province and was bound for the eastern city of Constantine, the Algerian Press Service reported.