Plane Crash Kills 257 People On Board (Photos)

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An Algerian military plane has crashed near the capital killing 257 people on board, officials say.

The plane, an Ilyushin Il-76, mostly carried soldiers when it went down shortly after takeoff on Wednesday morning, state TV reported.

Wednesday’s plane crash was the deadliest since 2014 when 298 people were killed when a Malaysian Airlines jet was shot down over Ukraine.

Most of the dead are army personnel and their families, the defence ministry says. Ten crew members also died.

The cause of the crash remains unclear and an investigation has been opened.

The defence ministry expressed condolences to families of the victims, and government officials observed a minute silence.

“In this painful ordeal, the government members offer their deepest condolences to the families of the victims,” a cabinet statement said.

Images posted on an Algerian website showed thick smoke billowing from the site of the crash, as several people rushed to help.

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