Military Plane Crashes in Morocco, Killing 78
The accident happened at around 9 a.m. local time when the plane crashed into a mountain about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) northeast of Guelmim, the capital of the Guelmim-Es Semara region in southern Morocco.
The state-run Maghreb Arab Presse (MAP) news agency, citing a statement from the RAF, said a total of 81 people were on board the aircraft. They consist of nine crew members, 60 military personnel, and 12 civilians.
MAP reported that three people survived the accident and were taken to a military hospital in a critical condition. More than 40 bodies were recovered from scene as of Tuesday afternoon, but rescuers do not expect to find other survivors and a total of 78 people were presumed killed.
The RAF statement said the accident happened during bad weather, but gave no other details.
Tuesday’s accident is the country’s worst since 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.
In August 1994, 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.