One Survives, 103 Killed In Algeria Plane Crash

Only one person survived in a crash involving a military aircraft with 103 people aboard.

The crash which occurred in Algeria’s mountainous northeast Tuesday, has been described as the country’s deadliest air disaster.

The C-130 Hercules aircraft, which crashed in the Oum El Bouaghi region, was carrying 99 passengers — soldiers and their families — as well as four crew members, a security source told AFP.

“We have found a survivor and the search continues,” emergency services official Colonel Farid Nechad told public radio, but he didn’t give further details.

The plane which was flying from the desert garrison town of Tamanrasset in the deep south to the city of Constantine, 320 kilometres east of the capital, lost contact with the control tower just as it was beginning its descent, slammed into Mount Fertas in the Oum El Bouaghi region at around midday (1100 GMT), state media quoted army spokesman Colonel Bouguern as saying.

Preliminary reports indicated that poor weather was to blame, with heavy snow and strong winds sweeping the region in recent days, the APS news agency reported.

71 bodies have so far been recovered from the crash site by the emergency services, according to public radio.

The lone survivor had earlier been thought dead before he was later found. A security source had said that all on board had perished.

There was no immediate word on the condition of the lone survivor.