The death toll of an Algerian military plane that crashed early on Wednesday in the military airport of Boufarik, 30 km south of Algiers, has risen to 257, local media reported.

An Ilyushin I-76 troop carrier belonging to the Algerian Air Force crashed Wednesday morning in the perimeter of the military airbase of Boufarik, Defense Ministry confirmed in a statement. Ennahar private television channel said the plane carried more than 250 troops and was departing for the southwest province of Bechar, before crashing in an unpopulated green field near the airport.

Army Chief of Staff, Lieutenant-General Ahmed Gaid Salah, has extended condolences to the families of the victims and ordered to open an investigation into the incident. Fire-fighting Department said in a statement that 300 fire-fighters, equipped with 40 ambulances and 40 fire trucks, have rushed to the crash site to extinguish fire and conduct rescue operations.

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