Cargo plane crashes in Afghanistan

A foreign-owned civilian cargo plane with 10 people on board has crashed near the Afghan capital Kabul, but the extent of casualties is not clear, officials say.

    Ten crew members were on board the aircraft (file photo)

    The Soviet-built plane came down 30km northwest of Kabul before noon on Friday, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) spokeswoman Squadron Leader Annie Gibson-Sexton said.

    "There are injuries, the extent to which we don't know," she said.
      
    The aircraft was a four-engine Ilyushin IL-76 cargo plane that had been chartered by Ariana Afghan Airlines, the national carrier, and was carrying cargo for the company, an official in the Kabul airport's air control tower said.
      
    The only people on board were the plane's crew, he said. 
       
    "The plane has been destroyed and totally burned," the chief of the police's Quick Reaction Force, General Mahbob Amiri, said, confirming the aircraft was foreign-owned.

    "We have sent 100 quick reaction police to the area," he said.
      
    ISAF had sent an evacuation helicopter and a search and rescue team to the area, Gibson-Sexton said.

    Defence Ministry spokesman Mohammad Zahir Azimi said Afghan forces,too, were at the crash site, near the village of Shahidan in Kabul province's Gulldarah district.
      
    The last major crash of a civilian plane in Afghanistan was in February when all 104 people on board a private Kam Air Boeing 737 were killed when the plane came down in mountains 20km east of Kabul.

    SOURCE: AFP


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