6 US airmen among at least 11 dead in Afghan plane crash - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

6 US airmen among at least 11 dead in Afghan plane crash

Posted: Updated:
(Photo: Defense Department) (Photo: Defense Department)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A U.S. Air Force C-130J military transport plane crashed overnight at an air base in eastern Afghanistan, killing six American airmen and five civilians on the aircraft, the U.S. military said Friday.

The crash happened shortly after midnight Thursday at Jalalabad air field, 125 kilometers (80 miles) from the capital, Kabul, said U.S. Air Force Maj. Tony Wickman, spokesman for the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing.

An unknown number of people on the ground were also killed, he said, without elaborating. Afghan officials had no immediate details on the crash or any casualty figures.

The six U.S. service members who died comprised the plane's crew. The passengers were civilian contractors working with NATO's Resolute Support mission and were the only passengers on board, Wickman added.

The airmen were assigned to the 774th Expeditionary Air Lift Squadron, part of the 455th, and the plane, a Super Hercules, crashed "shortly after take-off wholly within the airfield," he said.

The Taliban claimed they shot the plane out of the sky, but the group is prone to exaggeration.

Wickman dismissed the claim, saying that "it is with high confidence that we can say it does not appear that enemy fire was involved." Few other details were available and an investigation was underway, he added.

There are about 1,000 coalition forces in eastern Afghanistan, including U.S. and Polish forces, as well as about 40,000 Afghan troops, according to NATO.

There are also up to 35,000 civilian contractors across the country.

___

Associated Press writer Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report from Washington.


 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.