GUELMIM, MOROCCO (BNO NEWS) — A large military transport plane carrying more than 70 people crashed into a mountain in southern Morocco on Tuesday morning, local media reported, killing at least half of them.
A brief news report from the state-run Maghreb Arab Presse (MAP) news agency said the C-130 Hercules transport plane crashed into a mountainous area about eight kilometers (4.9 miles) from the city of Guelmim. It said ‘dozens’ of people were killed but did not say how many were on board the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces (FAR) plane.
But a report from the goud.ma news portal said the aircraft was carrying more than 70 people. It said more than 35 people were killed while at least five people survived, although their conditions were reported to be ‘very serious.’
MAP said the aircraft was coming from Dakhla and was en-route to Kenitra when it crashed into the mountain. Witnesses said a large number of rescue workers were responding to the accident.
Tuesday’s accident is the country’s worst since at least August 1994 when Royal Air Maroc Flight 630 crashed about 32 kilometers (20 miles) north of Agadir, killing 44 people including a Kuwaiti prince. Officials ruled the plane was deliberately crashed by the pilot, although these findings have been disputed.
The worst aviation accident in the country’s history happened in August 1975 when a Boeing 707 operated by Alia Royal Jordanian Airlines crashed into a mountain on approach to Inezgane Airport. All 188 people on board were killed.