Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 6:28 am Post subject: Passenger plane crashes in Afghanistan
Passenger plane crashes in Afghanistan
Aircraft with around 40 onboard was en route to capital Kabul
Monday, 17 May 2010
A passenger plane crashed on Monday near Afghanistan's Salang Pass north of the country's capital city, the police chief at Kabul airport said. There was no immediate word on casualties.
"I can confirm that an aircraft carrying 38 passengers plus five crew has crashed somewhere in Salang Pass," Interior Ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary told Reuters after receiving a report from the private Afghan airline.
Reuters reported the aircraft was a local Pamir Airways plane. It went down around 60 miles from Kabul, said Mohammad Asif Jabar Khil, the police chief at Kabul International Airport.
Mohammad Omar, governor of Kunduz province, told Reuters that there were some foreigners on board.
Rescuers were on their way to the crash site near the 12,700-foot-high Salang Pass, a major route through the Hindu Kush mountains that connects the capital to the north.
The plane had taken off from the northern province of Kunduz at 8:30 a.m. local time (0330 GMT), Kunduz provincial police chief Abdul Razaq Yabyaqoubi said.
Col. Wayne Shanks, a spokesman for U.S. and NATO forces, said the international force has sent aircraft to help in the search.
Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 10:39 am Post subject: Plane With 44 Passengers Crashes in Afghanistan
Plane With 44 Passengers Crashes in Afghanistan
An Afghan passenger plane carrying 44 people, including six foreigners, crashed Monday in a mountainous northern region where
poor weather was hampering efforts to locate it, officials said. There was no immediate word on casualties.
Rescuers were trying to reach the crash site near the 12,700-foot (3,800-meter) -high Salang Pass, a major route through the Hindu Kush mountains that connects the capital to the north.
The plane was operated by Pamir Airways, a private Afghan airline making a flight from the northern city of Kunduz to the capital, said Kabul International Airport Police Chief Mohammad Asif Jabar Khil.
The plane crashed about 60 miles (100 kilometers) from Kabul, he said.
At the request of the Afghan government, NATO dispatched a fixed-wing aircraft to the last known position of the plane, but poor weather hampered the aerial search.
Capt. Robert Leese, a spokesman for the NATO air unit assisting in the search, said the U.S. aircraft got within four miles (seven kilometers) of the crash site, but had to abort due to bad weather.
"All eyes were searching for the plane but the fog was so bad you couldn't tell where the mountain began and the fog ended," Leese said.
Other NATO helicopters were on standby at Bagram Air Field and the Kabul airport to assist in any rescue effort, NATO said in a statement.
The Afghan Defense Ministry also ordered the nation's air force to be on standby to assist in any rescue effort.
"The weather is very bad," said Gen. Rajab, commander of the Salang Pass for the Afghan Ministry of Public Works, who goes by only one name. "It is snowing. There is flooding."
Jaweed Stanikzai, the brother of a passenger aboard the plane, told The Associated Press at the Kabul airport that he last talked with his brother at 8 a.m. (0330 GMT).
"My brother was coming from Kunduz," he said. "He told us that he was on the plane and could not talk, but would call us as soon as he could. He has been missing since 8 a.m. Nobody is providing us any information about the incident."
Raz Mohammad Alami, deputy transportation minister who was attempting to travel to the crash site with the minister of aviation and other officials, said the plane was carrying 44 people, including six foreigners and six crew members.
Police chief Abdul Razaq Yabyaqoubi of northern Kunduz province said the plane left there at 8:30 a.m. Monday, but never arrived in the capital.
Mohammad Azim, chief of police in the Jabalussaraj district of Parwan province, said the crash occurred between his district and Shotul, a district in Panjshir province.
Kabul-based Pamir Airways started operations in 1995. It has daily flights to major Afghan cities and also operates flights to Dubai and to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage.
According to its website, the airline uses Antonov An-24 type aircraft on all its Kunduz-to-Kabul flights.
The Antonov An-24 is a 60-year-old, medium range twin-turboprop civil aircraft built in the former Soviet Union from 1950 to 1978. Although production there ceased more than three decades ago, a modernized version is still being made in China.
The aircraft is widely used by airlines in the developing world due to its rugged design, ease of maintenance and low operating costs. It is designed to operate from remote, unprepared airstrips with austere navigational aids.
A total 143 have so far been lost in all sorts of mishaps, according to the Aviation Safety Network's statistics.
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