Plane crash kills 77, one survivor

12:45 p.m. Update: Officials are now staing there were only 78 on the plane that crashed into a mountain in Algeria. They are still saying one person survived.

Initials reports said there were 103 people on board the plane, and one survived.

Update 9:30 a.m.: An Algerian military transport slammed into a mountain Tuesday in the country's rugged eastern region. A civil defence official said 102 people were killed, but one managed to survive.

The U.S.-built C-130 Hercules transport crashed about noon near the town of Ain Kercha, 50 kilometres (30 miles) southeast of Constantine, the main city in eastern Algeria.

Commander Farid Nechad, who is based in Algiers but was co-ordinating recovery efforts, told The Associated Press that 103 people including the crew had been on the plane but so far only 55 bodies had been found due to the difficult conditions at the crash site.

He did not give any further details about the survivor except to say the person had been sent to Constantine hospital.

6 a.m. story: An officer in Algeria's intelligence service says 103 people died when a military plane crashed in the east of the country.

He ascribed Tuesday's crash to poor weather conditions and said all aboard, including the crew, were killed. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

State radio had said 99 died in the crash in Oum El Bouaghi, 350 kilometres (220 miles) east of Algiers.

Witnesses say the plane clipped a mountain before crashing.


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