An Algerian military plane of model Ilyushin II-76 strategic airlifter crashed down on the Boufarik Military Airport shortly after take-off on April 11, 2018. The plane slammed into the fields after it took off from the airport which is about 15 miles southwest to the capital Algiers. The flight was scheduled to head to Bechar and Tindouf in the south-west of the country.
The death toll raised to 257. All the members who boarded the flight- 247 passengers and 10 crew members were presumed dead. Most of the deceased are military personnel and their families. There were also 30 Western Saharans and 26 Polisario members among the fatalities.
The Tindouf region, which is supposed to be the destination of the flight, borders western Sahara and is home to refugees and base for Polisario Font, a group seeking independence for the territory backed by Algeria.
As soon as the plane came down crashing, the entire surrounding was engulfed by the smoke from the crash. The airport officials and workers who were in the vicinity of the crash and who were injured were immediately taken to the hospital for treatment.
Fire-fighters are still working to clear the site and recover the bodies of the deceased.
The witnesses of this deadly crash said that they were in a trance-like state when they saw the wing of the plane catching fire and while crash landing.
Algeria considers this as one of the deadliest disasters and has announced three day mourning period to pay homage to the victims. Condolences have been pouring from all over the world for the families of the dead.
The Government of Algeria has announced to conduct a detailed investigation into the crash. The aircraft maintenance will get more emphasis to avoid any sort of mishaps of this magnitude in the near future.