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One survivor, 77 dead in Algerian C-130 crash

Feb. 12, 2014, Algiers, Algeria - An Algerian military transport plane slammed into a mountain Tuesday in the country's rugged eastern region. Algeria's Ministry of Defence says 77 people were killed and one man survived.


February 12, 2014
By The Associated Press

The U.S.-built C-130 Hercules crashed about noon near the town of Ain
Kercha, 50 kilometres southeast of Constantine, the main city in
eastern Algeria. The military blamed poor weather for the crash.

 

"Unfavourable weather conditions and storms accompanied
by snow in the region were behind the crash," the ministry said in a
statement.

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The lone survivor — a
soldier — suffered head injuries and was treated at a nearby military
facility before being flown to the military hospital in Algiers, the
capital, a retired intelligence officer told the AP. He spoke on
condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the
press.

 

Civil defence officials at the scene said
the plane broke into three parts at the snowy crash site and women and
children — presumably from military families — were among the dead.

 

Military transports in Algeria routinely
carry not only soldiers but military families visiting the army bases.
The plane had taken off from the southern Saharan city of Tamanrasset,
which has a massive military presence due to its proximity to the
country's unstable southern borders, and was heading to Constantine.

 

Algerian military planes also take on other civilians if space is available.

 

Winds in the area were 17 knots gusting
to 28 knots with a visibility of eight kilometres at the time, according
to the aviation-safety.net website.

 

The presidency announced a three-day period of mourning, calling the soldiers who had died "martyrs for the country."

 

Lockheed Martin's hulking
turboprop C-130 Hercules transport, born out of the experiences of the
1950-53 Korean War, has been used by air forces all over the world to
help fight wars or save lives in humanitarian situations.

 

Lockheed Martin Corp. confirmed it sold
C-130s to Algeria from 1981 to 1990. The trade publication FlightGlobal
reported Algeria had 16 C-130H planes as of 2011.