Military Plane Crashes In Algeria

US Air Force C-130H Hercules cargo transport aircraft
A Hercules military transport plane crashed in a residential area southwest of Algiers on Monday, killing 17 people, rescue workers said.

The C130 Hercules transport slammed into a house in the neighborhood of Beni Mered shortly after takeoff from the Boufarik military airport, 22 miles southwest of the capital. Seven other houses were damaged by debris from the plane or caught fire from leaking fuel that ignited, witnesses said.

Five crew members as well as two women and three children inside the home that the plane destroyed were killed, officials from Algeria's civil protection authority told The Associated Press. Seven other people on the ground also died.

At least five people were injured. Police, firefighters and rescuers rushed to the scene and evacuated the injured to regional hospitals for treatment.

It was not immediately clear whether human error, technical problems or weather were to blame. Witnesses told the AP they saw an engine on fire upon takeoff.

In March, an Air Algerie passenger jet crashed and killed 102 people in the Sahara Desert. The crash was state-run Air Algerie's first since its founding in 1953, and the lack of experience in coping with airline accidents hampered rescue efforts.