Iran Condoles with Algeria on Plane Crash Disaster
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday extended Tehran's condolences to the Algerian government and nation on the recent deadly plane crash.
A military transport plane carrying members of the Algerian armed forces and their relatives crashed into a mountain on Tuesday, killing 103 people, the worst air disaster in the North African country in a decade.
In a message on Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham condoled with the Algerian government, nation and bereaved family members of the victims of the incident.
Algeria's state television showed footage of the wreckage of the plane near the village of Ouled Gacem in eastern Algeria, smoke rising from the site and emergency crews scouring the forested area for survivors and bodies.
"I saw the military plane crashing, and it was cut into two pieces," Mohamed, a fireman told Reuters at Ouled Gacem, near the crash site in Oum El Bouaghi province, 500 km (300 miles) east of Algiers.
Colonel Lahmadi Bouguern told the APS state news agency that 99 passengers and four crew were on board the C-130 Hercules transport plane, which took off from the southern Tamanrasset province and was bound for Constantine.
The Defense Ministry had earlier on Thursday said that 77 people were killed and said the crash was likely due to bad weather. Initial reports in Algerian media had put the death toll at 103.
State television said President Abdelaziz Bouteflika had declared three days of mourning from Wednesday.
The crash was the worst in Algeria since 2003 when an Air Algerie jet crashed shortly after takeoff from Tamanrasset, killing 103 people, while one of its passengers remained miraculously alive. There is still no report on the health conditions of the revived passenger though.