11 killed after Libyan medical plane crashes in Tunisia

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Originally published on February 21, 2014

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Eleven people died on Friday (February 21) when a Libyan air force medical plane crashed just south of Tunis.

The plane took off Mitiga Airport in Libya after midnight en route to Tunis-Carthage international airport. On board were six crew, two or three patients and their companions, according to a Reuters report.

The aircraft was descending when the pilot sent a distress call saying one of the engines was on fire. It went down after the pilot tried to land in farmland near Grombalia, just south of Tunis. The aircraft was engulfed in flames, and all 11 people on board were killed.

Just after daybreak, emergency services were sent to the crash site to recover the charred bodies and black box.

There was no immediate word on the identities of the patients on board. Conflicting reports list the number of patients on board the plane as two or three.

According to Reuters, one of was Sheikh Meftah Daouadi, the undersecretary at the Libyan Ministry of Martyrs who took part in the fight against Muammar Gaddafi in the 2011 revolution. It was not clear if Daouadi was a patient or a passenger.

This is the second crash involving a military plane in North Africa in two weeks. Seventy-seven people on an Algerian military transport plane were killed on February 11 after the plane crashed into a mountain due to bad weather conditions, making it the country's worst air disaster in a decade.

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