2018 Algerian Air Force Il-76 crash
|Date||11 April 2018|
|Site||Near Boufarik Airport, Boufarik, Algeria
|Aircraft type||Ilyushin Il-76TD|
|Operator||Algerian Air Force|
|Flight origin||Boufarik Airport, Boufarik, Algeria|
|Stopover||Boudghene Ben Ali Lotfi Airport, Béchar, Algeria.|
|Destination||Tindouf Airport, Tindouf, Algeria|
On 11 April 2018, an Ilyushin Il-76 military transport aircraft of the Algerian Air Force crashed shortly after take-off from Boufarik Airport, Boufarik, Algeria, which is near Blida and south-west of the capital, Algiers. All 257 people on board were killed, making the accident the deadliest air crash on Algerian soil, surpassing the crash of Air Algérie Flight 6289 in 2003. The crash was also the second-deadliest single-plane disaster involving an Il-76, behind a crash in Iran in 2003.
The aircraft was an Ilyushin Il-76TD of the Algerian Air Force's 347e Escadron de Transport Stratégique produced by Tashkent Aviation Production Association in 1994. The aircraft, registered 7T-WIV, msn 1043419649, had first flown in 1994.
At 07:50 local time (06:50 UTC), the aircraft crashed just outside the perimeter of Boufarik Airport, Boufarik, from which it had recently taken off. Witnesses reported that the wing of the aircraft had caught fire prior to the crash. The flight had a final destination of Tindouf Airport, Tindouf, with a stopover in Boudghene Ben Ali Lotfi Airport, Béchar. All 10 crew and 247 passengers on board were reported to have been killed. Amongst the passengers were 176 members of the Algerian People's National Army. Many of these soldiers and officers were traveling with family members.
Thirty Saharawi students and other civilians from the refugee camps in Tindouf were among the dead according to officials of the Saharawi Republic. They had been visiting Algiers for various medical and bureaucratic reasons. Saharawis from the refugee camps are regularly provided with free flights in Algerian military transport aircraft. Initial reports claimed that a senior member of the National Liberation Front, the governing party of the National Assembly in Algeria, said that 26 Polisario Front members were among the casualties. The Moroccan media in particular unanimously claimed that several Polisario Front members were among the dead; however, Algerian and Saharawi officials have since maintained that there were only 30 Saharawi civilian casualties.
Local authorities dispatched fourteen ambulances, ten fire apparatus and 130 personnel to attend to the crash site. As a result of the crash, the road between Boufarik and Blida was temporarily closed to traffic.
Following the accident, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the President of Algeria, declared three days of national mourning, echoing his reaction to the 2014 military air crash. For his part, Brahim Ghali, the President of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, declared seven days of national mourning. Ahmed Gaid Salah, Chief of Staff of the Algerian Army, ordered an investigation to determine the cause of the accident. Russia stated that it would assist in the investigation.
- "Military Plane Crashes in Algeria, Killing at Least 257". New York Times. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
- "Algeria military plane crash: 257 dead near Algiers". BBC. 11 April 2018. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
- "Algeria - Air Force". Scramble. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- "Россия поможет Алжиру расследовать крушение Ил-76ТД" [Russia will help Algeria to investigate the crash of the Il-76TD] (in Russian). Kommersant. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
- "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
- "More Than 250 Dead in Algerian Military-Plane Crash". The Wall Street Journal. 11 April 2018. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Vincenot, Aymeric (12 April 2018). "Algeria in mourning after its deadliest plane crash". IOL. Independent Media. AFP. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Ouali, Aomar (11 April 2018). "Crash Kills 257 in Algeria's Deadliest Aviation Disaster". US News. AP. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "257 people feared dead in Algerian military plane crash". RTÉ. 11 April 2018. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
- "Mueren 257 personas al estrellarse un avión militar en Argelia" [257 people killed when a military plane crashes in Algeria] (in Spanish). RTVE. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
30 de los fallecidos son civiles saharauis
- "Algerian military plane crash death toll rises to 257". Sky News. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
- "Número de mortos no acidente do avião militar argelino sobe a 257" [Death count of Algerian military plane accident reaches 257] (in Portuguese). EFE. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
- "Mueren 30 saharauis en el accidente de un avión militar en Argelia" [30 Saharawis killed in the accident of a military plane in Algeria] (in Spanish). La Vanguardia. EFE. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
- "Algeria state TV: 257 killed in Boufarik military plane crash". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
- "Mohamed VI envía condolencias a Argelia por la tragedia que dejó 257 víctimas" [Mohammed VI offers condolences to Algeria for the tragedy that claimed 257 victims] (in Spanish). La Vanguardia. EFE. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
- "DIRECT - Plusiers morts dans le crash d'un avion militaire à Blida" [DIRECT - Several dead in the crash of a military aircraft in Blida] (in French). Alg24. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
- "Hundreds killed as Algerian military plane crashes after takeoff". Irish Independent. 11 April 2018. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
- "Algerian military plane crashes into mountain, 77 killed". Reuters. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.