LAGOS, Nigeria -- A Nigerian Air Force transport plane crashed into a swamp shortly after takeoff from Lagos airport, and all 163 people were killed, Nigerian officials said.
Military officials said the C-130 was enroute to the northern city of Kaduna when it crashed near a village east of Lagos.
All 160 passengers and three crew members died in the crash, officials said. The plane sank after impact and only a small part of the fuselage was visible in the swampy terrain, making rescue efforts difficult.
Only two bodies had been recovered as of late Sunday and officials said apparently the two victims had been thrown from the aircraft while the rest remained in the submerged wreckage.
Most of the passengers were student officers and personnel from the Command and Staff College near Kaduna. Some reports said there were senior military officials aboard the plane.
The weather was good at the time of the crash and there was no immediate explanation for the tragedy. The C-130 was one of six used by Nigeria in domestic operations and to transport West African peacekeepers to and from Liberia.
Nigerian Defense Minister Gen. Sani Abacha broadcast a statement after the crash, expressing condolences to relatives of the victims.