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AP / The Hindu / KABUL, July 6, 2011.
An undated photo of the IL-76TD-90SW cargo plane is seen in an undisclosed location. The Russian-made Ilyushin-76 cargo plane chartered by the U.S. military crashed into a mountaintop in eastern Afghanistan. File photo - AP.
A Russian-made Ilyushin-76 cargo plane chartered by the U.S. military crashed into a mountaintop in eastern Afghanistan, officials said today, as fears rose for the fate of its nine-member Azerbaijani crew.
The plane was hauling equipment from the Azerbaijan capital of Baku to Bagram Air Field in eastern Afghanistan, said Kabul airport official Yaqub Rasoliob.
Afghan transport ministry spokesman Nangyalai Qalatwal said it was unknown whether any of the crew survived. Qalatwal said the plane belonged to Azerbaijan’s government.
No Americans were aboard the plane, said U.S. Army Maj James Lowe, a spokesman for the U.S. Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. Lowe said the cargo included four pallets of heavy equipment, describing the flight as a standard shipment into Bagram.
The plane crashed into a mountain while flying at an altitude of about 12,500 feet, said British Maj Tim James, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan. There was no insurgent activity in the area at the time of the crash, he said.
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