KABUL: US Army has started investigation into a plane crash in Afghanistan’s Taliban held territory in Ghazni’s Deh Yak area on Monday. AP quoted US Army Maj. Beth Riordan, a spokeswoman for US Central Command, saying that it remained unclear whose aircraft was involved in the crash. Riordan declined to immediately comment further.
Gen Dave Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, confirmed that the aircraft in question was E-11A. He didn’t have any info on the status of the crew or whether the plane came under hostile fire.
Initial information made available with the Regional Telegraph suggests that the plane crashed 15KM from the district HQ of Deh Yak in Ghazni.
Afghan lawmaker representing Ghazni in parliament, Arif Rahmani said crashed aircraft had been carrying 15 people, adding that ambulances hadreached the crash site which is controlled by the Taliban.
A video surfaced later also purported to show local Taliban at the site of plane crash with wreckage spread in the area. Apparently, it appeared to be U.S. Air Force Bombardier E-11A.
Multiple sources after watching the video confirmed that the downed plane was USAF E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node – BACN, as appeared at the tailcode in the video.
Some videos surfaced later show the plane split into two parts burning over the snow covered area in Ghazni, and Taliban surrounding its wreckage .
Local sources said Taliban had handed over two burnt bodies to the area elders, with no report of survivors. More reports suggest that the aircraft belonged to a foreign country
Moments later, Afghan Taliban issued statement saying they shot down US military plane, saying “the plane was being used for espionage purpose.” The statement further said that bodies of all on board including alleged CIA officers were in Taliban custody.
Afghan media sources claimed that the belonged to a contractor of coalition forces in Afghanistan, sources said. They further claimed that four people were killed and all of them are foreigners. Nationalities of victims unclear now.
Eٓarlier reports circulated by Afghan media suggested that the state owned Ariana Afghan Airliner 358 with some 83 people on board might have crashed in Sadozai area in De Yak, Ghazni.
Police chief in Ghazni Province Ahmad Khalid Wardak also confirmed the plane crash, but added that he had no more details to tell.
Afghan officials said the plane crashed in an area under Taliban control, and special troops would be sent to the crash site.
Afghan media had even quoted the second vice president of Araina Airlines Sarwar Danish as having said “unfortunately, a passenger plane of Ariana Afghan Airlines Company crashed in Deh Yak district of Ghazni province where some people were killed, but no exact details are available.”
However, Ariana Airlines says plane that crashed in Afghanistan was not one of their aircraft.
Ariana’s Deputy Chief Executive told media that no aircraft belonging to their company had crashed. He said a flight scheduled from Herat to Kabul had landed safely, and another flight to Delhi would be arriving soon.