5 bodies found after Kabul crash
Kabul - Five bodies have been recovered after a cargo aircraft crashed in a fireball and plummeted into a mountain crevice near the Afghan capital, officials said on Wednesday.
Afghan officials said late on Tuesday that all eight crew members on board the C-130 cargo aircraft perished in the accident. They were identified as six Filipinos, one Indian and one Kenyan.
"Last night 250 Afghan soldiers were sent to the area to search for the crashed aircraft. They located the crash site and have recovered five bodies," Afghan defence ministry spokesperson Mohammad Zahir Azimi said.
Nangyalai Qalatwal, spokesperson for the Afghan transport and civil aviation ministry, said the cause of the crash was still unclear.
The aircraft was operating on behalf of US-based National Air Cargo and had taken off from Bagram, one of the largest US-run military bases in Afghanistan, 60km north of Kabul.
Local aviation officials said the aircraft was carrying goods on behalf of the US-led Nato force in Afghanistan, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), but an ISAF spokesperson said they were still checking those reports.
Second mountain crash in five months
National Air Cargo said the aircraft belonged to Trans Afrique, a company based in Ghana.
"We're a customer of theirs and I believe they were on a flight on our behalf," National Air Cargo CEO Preston Murray said by telephone.
Tuesday's accident was the second aviation crash in five months over the treacherous mountains that lie outside Kabul.
On May 17, a commercial passenger jet operated by Afghan airline Pamir Airways slammed into mountains in the Surkh-e-Parsa area of the Shakar Darah mountains, killing all 44 people on board.
In February 2005, a Boeing 737 operated by private company Kam Air also crashed in mountains on the outskirts of Kabul during heavy snow. All 104 people on board, including two dozen foreigners, were killed.