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Algerian plane crash: Only survivor, a soldier, suffers head injuries, 77 dead

Hercules C-130
Hercules C-130
(Reuters / Yves Herman)

After an Algerian plane crashed into a mountain and exploded, only one passenger survived. The survivor, a soldier, suffered head injuries and was treated at a nearby military facility before being flown to the military hospital in Algiers, a retired Algerian intelligence officer told reporters. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. According to a Feb. 11, 2014, Reuters report, the sole survivor of the Algerian plane crash was taken to a hospital in Constantine, where the plane had been scheduled to land.

"'The plane crashed into a mountain and exploded. Several bodies were burnt to ashes and could not be identified,' the official told Reuters by telephone from Oum El Bouaghi province, about 500 km (300 miles) from the capital Algiers.”

Initial reports of the Algerian plane crash, which involved the U.S.-built Hercules C-130 transport plane, mentioned that 99 passengers and four crew members had been on board. As of Tuesday night, the number of passengers on board has been changed and the Defense Ministry said 77 people were killed and that only one passenger survived.

The Hercules C-130 had taken off from Algeria's southern Tamanrasset province and was scheduled to land in the eastern city of Constantine. The C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop aircraft, originally designed for troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport.

Reportedly, the Hercules C-130 was carrying military personnel and their family members, including women and children, on board.

Around noon on Tuesday, the plane experienced bad weather and strong winds and crashed into a mountain near the town of Ain Kercha, 30 miles southeast of Constantine.

According to a statement by the Defense Ministry, "unfavorable weather conditions and storms accompanied by snow in the region were behind the crash.”

Local witnesses reported that at the time of the Algerian plane crash, there was a snowstorm in the area, and that they could see the aircraft in pieces.

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