Twelve dead in U.S. military transport plane crash in Afghanistan
Twelve people including five U.S. service members have been killed after a transport plane crashed at Jalalabad Airport in Afghanistan.
Among those killed were five U.S. soldiers, reported to be the crew of the aircraft, another five civilian contractors on board the plane, and two Afghan ground crew.
The accident took place at around midnight local time (3.30pm ET) while the C-130 Hercules transport plane was taking off from the airport.
According to NBC, the civilian contractors were working with ‘Resolute Support,’ the NATO-led mission to train and advise Afghan security forces.
It follows the military mission in Afghanistan after combat operations ended at the end of 2014.
The cause of the crash is currently under investigation, though there were no reports of enemy fire at the time the plane went down.
Jalalabad airport is solely reserved for military use and is located alongside U.S. Operating Base Fenty, which is manned by the Air Force and Army.
The C-130, the longest continually produced military aircraft in history, is capable of carrying five crew including two pilots, a loadmaster, flight engineer, and navigator.
If fully loaded with troops it can carry up to 92 people, according to the Aviation Safety Network.
Speaking about the crash, U.S. Army Col. Brian Tribus said: ‘We are gathering more information and will release as appropriate.’
It is not known which branch of the military, the Air Force or Marines, was operating the aircraft.