Over 250 people killed in Algerian military plane crash

More than 250 people including Western Sahara refugees were killed when a military plane crashed near Algeria’s capital on Wednesday, state media said, with witnesses saying they saw a wing catch fire shortly after the plane took off.

Dozens of firefighters, rescue workers and military officials worked around the blackened fuselage of the aircraft, which had been ripped open near its wings.

Bits of mangled and smouldering debris were scattered across the field near Boufarik airport southwest of Algiers where people were searching for bodies among the rubble.

Earlier TV images showed flames and smoke billowing from the site of the crash, the country’s worst air disaster. (Reuters)

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<p>Rescuers are seen around the wreckage of an Algerian army plane which crashed near the Boufarik airbase from where the plane had taken off on April 11, 2018. (Photo: Farouk Batiche/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) </p>
Over 250 people killed in Algerian military plane crash

Rescuers are seen around the wreckage of an Algerian army plane which crashed near the Boufarik airbase from where the plane had taken off on April 11, 2018. (Photo: Farouk Batiche/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

<p>This image dated April 11, 2018, and posted by Algerian news agency ALG24, shows firefighters and soldiers at the scene of a fatal military plane crash near Boufarik military base near the Algerian capital, Algiers. (Photo: ALG24 via AP) </p>
Over 250 people killed in Algerian military plane crash

This image dated April 11, 2018, and posted by Algerian news agency ALG24, shows firefighters and soldiers at the scene of a fatal military plane crash near Boufarik military base near the Algerian capital, Algiers. (Photo: ALG24 via AP)

<p>Algerian soldiers and citizens walk near the site where a military transport aircraft crashed in Boufarik, about 30Kms south the capital Algiers, Algeria, April 11, 2018. (Photo: Farouk Batiche/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) </p>
Over 250 people killed in Algerian military plane crash

Algerian soldiers and citizens walk near the site where a military transport aircraft crashed in Boufarik, about 30Kms south the capital Algiers, Algeria, April 11, 2018. (Photo: Farouk Batiche/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

<p>Firefighters and civil security officers work at the scene of a fatal military plane crash in Boufarik, near the Algerian capital, Algiers, April 11, 2018. (Photo: Anis Belghoul/AP) </p>
Over 250 people killed in Algerian military plane crash

Firefighters and civil security officers work at the scene of a fatal military plane crash in Boufarik, near the Algerian capital, Algiers, April 11, 2018. (Photo: Anis Belghoul/AP)

<p>An Algerian military plane is seen after crashing near an airport outside the capital Algiers, Algeria April 11, 2018. (Photo: Ramzi Boudina/Reuters) </p>
Over 250 people killed in Algerian military plane crash

An Algerian military plane is seen after crashing near an airport outside the capital Algiers, Algeria April 11, 2018. (Photo: Ramzi Boudina/Reuters)

<p>Bodies of victims are covered with blankets after Algerian military plane crashed near an airport outside the capital Algiers, Algeria April 11, 2018 in this still image taken from a video. (Photo: ENNAHAR TV/Handout/ via Reuters) </p>
Over 250 people killed in Algerian military plane crash

Bodies of victims are covered with blankets after Algerian military plane crashed near an airport outside the capital Algiers, Algeria April 11, 2018 in this still image taken from a video. (Photo: ENNAHAR TV/Handout/ via Reuters)

<p>Firefighters and civil security officers work at the scene of a fatal military plane crash in Boufarik, near the Algerian capital, Algiers, April 11, 2018. (Photo: Anis Belghoul/AP) </p>
Over 250 people killed in Algerian military plane crash

Firefighters and civil security officers work at the scene of a fatal military plane crash in Boufarik, near the Algerian capital, Algiers, April 11, 2018. (Photo: Anis Belghoul/AP)

<p>An Algerian military plane is seen after crashing near an airport outside the capital Algiers, Algeria April 11, 2018 in this still image taken from a video. (Photo: ENNAHAR TV/Handout/ via Reuters) </p>
Over 250 people killed in Algerian military plane crash

An Algerian military plane is seen after crashing near an airport outside the capital Algiers, Algeria April 11, 2018 in this still image taken from a video. (Photo: ENNAHAR TV/Handout/ via Reuters)

<p>Firefighters and civil security officers work at the scene of a fatal military plane crash in Boufarik, near the Algerian capital, Algiers, April 11, 2018. (Photo: Anis Belghoul/AP) </p>
Over 250 people killed in Algerian military plane crash

Firefighters and civil security officers work at the scene of a fatal military plane crash in Boufarik, near the Algerian capital, Algiers, April 11, 2018. (Photo: Anis Belghoul/AP)

<p>This image dated on April 11, 2018, and posted by Algerian news agency ALG24, shows firefighters and soldiers at the scene of a fatal military plane crash near Boufarik military base near the Algerian capital, Algiers. (Photo: ALG24 via AP) </p>
Over 250 people killed in Algerian military plane crash

This image dated on April 11, 2018, and posted by Algerian news agency ALG24, shows firefighters and soldiers at the scene of a fatal military plane crash near Boufarik military base near the Algerian capital, Algiers. (Photo: ALG24 via AP)

<p>Algerian soldiers and rescuers stand near the wreckage of a military transport aircraft that crashed in Boufarik, about 30Kms south the capital Algiers, Algeria, April 11, 2018. (Photo: Farouk Batiche/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) </p>
Over 250 people killed in Algerian military plane crash

Algerian soldiers and rescuers stand near the wreckage of a military transport aircraft that crashed in Boufarik, about 30Kms south the capital Algiers, Algeria, April 11, 2018. (Photo: Farouk Batiche/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

<p>An Algerian military plane is seen after crashing near an airport outside the capital Algiers, Algeria April 11, 2018 (Photo: Ramzi Boudina/Reuters) </p>
Over 250 people killed in Algerian military plane crash

An Algerian military plane is seen after crashing near an airport outside the capital Algiers, Algeria April 11, 2018 (Photo: Ramzi Boudina/Reuters)

<p>In this still taken from Algerian TV network Ennahar showing body bags of victims placed near the scene after a military plane which crashed soon after takeoff from Boufarik military base, near the Algerian capital, April 11, 2018. (Photo: ENNAHAR TV via AP) </p>
Over 250 people killed in Algerian military plane crash

In this still taken from Algerian TV network Ennahar showing body bags of victims placed near the scene after a military plane which crashed soon after takeoff from Boufarik military base, near the Algerian capital, April 11, 2018. (Photo: ENNAHAR TV via AP)

<p>An Algerian military plane is seen after crashing near an airport outside the capital Algiers, Algeria April 11, 2018 in this still image taken from a video. (Photo: ENNAHAR TV/Handout/ via Reuters) </p>
Over 250 people killed in Algerian military plane crash

An Algerian military plane is seen after crashing near an airport outside the capital Algiers, Algeria April 11, 2018 in this still image taken from a video. (Photo: ENNAHAR TV/Handout/ via Reuters)

<p>An Algerian military plane is seen after crashing near an airport outside the capital Algiers, Algeria April 11, 2018 in this still image taken from a video. (Photo: ENNAHAR TV/Handout/ via Reuters) </p>
Over 250 people killed in Algerian military plane crash

An Algerian military plane is seen after crashing near an airport outside the capital Algiers, Algeria April 11, 2018 in this still image taken from a video. (Photo: ENNAHAR TV/Handout/ via Reuters)

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