Rabat: A military transport plane slammed into a mountainside in bad weather in southern Morocco on Tuesday killing all 80 people on board, hospital and military sources said.
The army said 78 people were killed on the spot and two rushed to hospital after the Hercules C-130 crashed on the edge of the Sahara desert in Morocco’s worst military aviation disaster.
A hospital source later told AFP that the injured died of their wounds.
Authorities earlier reported that 81 people were aboard the doomed plane but it emerged later that one passenger did not board in Laayoune in the Western Sahara and was mistakenly included in the total.
The plane crashed into a mountain northeast of Guelmim, located about 830 kilometres south of the capital Rabat, the army said in a statement.
Most of those onboard the aircraft were soldiers flying from Laayoune in Western Sahara to the coastal city of Agadir. But the army said civilians, including family members, were also on the flight.
King Mohammed VI “has sent a message of condolence to the families of the victims in his role as the supreme leader of the FAR (Royal Armed Forces)” an official said.
The army statement blamed the accident on “bad weather conditions”.
“Above all, it was the fog and bad weather conditions that are believed to be behind this accident. But for the moment, we don’t have enough information,” an interior ministry official said. Zeenews