ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — In a Feb. 11 story about the crash that day of an Algerian military transport plane, The Associated Press erroneously identified the type of plane involved in a previous crash of an Algerian military plane in France. The plane that crashed in November 2012 was an EADS CASA C-295, not a Lockheed Martin C-130.
On Feb 12, a day after the crash, there was a dispute over the death toll. An Algerian civil defense spokesman reduced the death toll to 76 with one survivor but the Algerian military still insisted that 77 people died and one survived. There was no immediate way to rectify the discrepancy.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Algeria: Plane crash kills 76 but 1 man survives
Defense ministry: Algerian military plane crash kills 76 people but 1 soldier survives
By AOMAR OUALI and PAUL SCHEMM
ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — An Algerian military transport plane slammed into a mountain Tuesday in the country's rugged eastern region, killing at least 76 people and leaving just one survivor, Algerian officials said.
Air traffic controllers lost radio and radar contact with the U.S.-built C-130 Hercules turboprop just before noon and dispatched helicopters to try to find it. The plane was discovered in pieces on Mount Fortas near the town of Ain Kercha, 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of Constantine, the main city in eastern Algeria.
The plane was heading to Constantine from the southern Saharan city of Tamanrasset, which has a massive military presence due to its proximity to the country's unstable southern borders. It was at least 24 years old, according to sales information supplied by its maker, Lockheed Martin Corp.
In its statement, the military blamed poor weather for the crash.
"Unfavorable weather conditions and storms accompanied by snow in the region were behind the crash," the defense ministry said.
The death toll for the crash has varied significantly. Algerian government officials and Algerian state media had originally reported the plane had 99 passengers. Later Tuesday, the defense ministry said the death toll was 77, with one survivor. On Wednesday, a civil defense spokesman reduced the death toll to 76 but the military stuck to its figure of 77 dead. There was no immediate way to rectify the discrepancy.
The lone survivor — a soldier — suffered head injuries and was treated at a nearby military facility before being flown to the military hospital in Algiers, a retired Algerian intelligence officer told The Associated Press. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.