A military plane crashed today, killing 77 people and leaving one sole survivor in what is now being called one of the worst plane crashes in ten years in Algeria.
The Hercules C-130 crashed in Oum al-Bouaghi province, while in route to Constantine. The cause is believed to be due to bad weather.
"Very bad weather conditions, involving a storm and heavy snowfall, were behind the crash," the defense ministry was quoted as saying.
The sole survivor is a soldier who is now being treated for head injuries at a military hospital in Algiers, a retired Algerian intelligence official told the Associated Press, on condition of anonymity.
When air traffic control lost contact with the plane via radio and radar, helicopters were sent to find the plane. The ministry said it had slammed into Mount Fortas, 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the flight's destination city of Constantine.
Officials at the crash scene said the plane had broken into three parts at the snowy crash site, which made it difficult to look for survivors. As of today, only 55 bodies have been found of the 77 presumed dead. Women and children were among them.
The transport for Algerian military commonly carry not only soldiers, but their families as well.
One survivor has been found and the search continues, emergency official Col Farid Nechad told public radio.
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika sent his condolences to families of the victims and has decreed three days of national mourning to begin on Wednesday, said state TV.
Image via NDN