Military plane crashes: US Transport Plane Crashes

Published: October 2, 2015

Military plane crashes: US Transport Plane Crashes, Twelve people including five U.S. service members have been killed after a transport plane crashed at Jalalabad Airport in Afghanistan, and the Taliban says they are responsible.

Among those killed were six U.S. soldiers, reported to be the crew of the aircraft, another five civilian contractors on board the plane, and two Afghans on the ground.

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, and there were no reports of enemy fire at the time the plane went down.

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

U.S. Air Force Maj. Tony Wickman, spokesman for the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, dissmissed the claim, saying that ‘it is with high confidence that we can say it does not appear that enemy fire was involved.’

The crash came hours after Afghan troops recaptured the center of the strategic northern city of Kunduz on Thursday amid fierce clashes with Taliban militants, three days after losing the provincial capital.

The Taliban have been fighting to regain power since being toppled by a U.S.-led intervention in 2001.

In 2011, Taliban militants shot down a U.S. military Chinook helicopter, killing all 38 people on board.

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.

The C-130 is known as the ‘workhorse’ of the U.S. Air Force and is used to transport cargo and troops across warzones, powered by four turboprop engines.

Over the course of it’s flying history there have been 220 accidents in which C-130’s were destroyed, causing almost 3,000 fatalities.

The plane is used by 16 different countries, has clocked more than 1.2million hours of flying time and has been used for everything from airdrops to search and rescue missions.

The aircraft’s maiden flight was in 1954, and it entered military service three years later.

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