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181 dead in Algerian military plane crash: authorities

ALGERIA (OBSERVATORY) – A Russia made Algerian plane crashed near Boufarik airport near the capital city of Algiers on Wednesday. There is confusion on the number of people on board the Ilyushin Il-76 plane. Local media reports vary from 100 to 200 passengers.

Algerie 24, a prominent Algerian media organization puts the number of passengers to 200 and reports that at least 181 people were confirmed dead.

As per reports, all roads leading to the airport have been shut down and more than a dozen ambulances have been pushed into service. TV footages show black smoke near a motorway and a crowd of security officials and others standing in a field next to the crash site.

The tail end of a plane can be spotted with smoke and flames rising from the wreckage.

The tragic event took place right after the plane took off from the air force base for the western Algerian city of Bechar.

Ilyushin Il-76 is a medium-range multi-purpose four-engine turbofan military transport aircraft mainly used to ferry military personnel, dropping paratroopers and combat material. It can also carry medium-sized battle tanks, and used for disaster relief operations.

As of April 2018, a total of 80 Ilyushin Il-76 series aircrafts have been written off in crashes and other incidents.