Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Three Britons feared dead after Afghan flight disappears over Hindu Kush

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on May 17, 2010

Three Britons are among more than 40 passengers and crew feared dead after an Afghan domestic flight crashed over the Hindu Kush mountains.

One American Citizen on board.

Video Here

Chris Carter, David Taylor and Daniel Saville were named as the three Britons on board the flight, which is thought to have crashed in foggy conditions on Monday morning.

The commercial flight, operated by an Afghan airline, was en route from the northern city of Kunduz to the Afghan capital Kabul when it disappeared over the Salang Pass at around 8.30am.

Rescuers attempting to find the wreckage – thought to be some some 12,000ft up in the Hindu Kush – were forced to turn back because of the poor weather conditions.

“The weather is very bad,” said General Rajab, commander of the Salang Pass for the Afghan Ministry of Public Works. “It is snowing. There is flooding.”

The American-led Nato force in Afghanistan dispatched a plane and two helicopters to assist a search and rescue operation after air traffic controllers lost touch with the flight.

Captain Robert Leese, a Nato spokesman, said the aircraft got within four miles of the crash site.

“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,” he said.

An Afghan rescue team of 70 was last night searching the area on foot. Colonel Nabiullah, who was in charge of the southern portion of the pass, said: “The only way they can search is on foot. The helicopters can’t get in.”

A US citizen is also thought to be among the six foreigners who formed part of the 38 passengers and six crew aboard the Pamir Airways flight.

The occupations of the British citizens are not yet known – although private contractors helping in the country’s reconstruction commonly use the commerical flights to travel between bases.

According to Mohammad Asif Jabar Khil, the police chief at Kabul airport, the flight went down around 60 miles north of the Afghan capital.

Searches were focusing near the 13,350ft pass, which forms the main link between the capital and northern Afghanistan, and the nearby Panjshir valley, but cloud, snow and flooding were hampering rescue efforts.

Afghanistan has seen a boom in domestic and international flights in recent years, with all major cities connected by regular services.

Aircraft belonging to the military and civilian contractors crash fairly regularly in Afghanistan, although crashes involving planes from commercial carriers are less common.

The last major crash involving a passenger aircraft in Afghanistan happened in February 2005, when a Boeing 737 operated by private Afghan carrier Kam Air crashed in a snowstorm near Kabul, killing 104 passengers and crew.

Kabul-based Pamir Airways is one of three major private Afghan airlines and 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 24 type aircraft on all its Kunduz-to-Kabul flights. The two-engine turboprop can carry a maximum of 52 passengers, according to Aviation Safety Network. The network said production of the aircraft ended in 1979.

One Response to “Three Britons feared dead after Afghan flight disappears over Hindu Kush”

  1. SuperMan said

    No suprise. in 2006 another Civilian Airliner from Herat to Kabul just never arrived. This airline was ban for travel with the State Department. But Civilan contracting companies still placed contractors on this flight. US Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Securty Service Contractors recruited by DynCorp who did “EVERYHING” for the State Department from Security to “wiping there noses when they ran” were tasked on the assignment to find the downed plane. Hey these guys were all former, Special Forces, Army Rangers, Delta, and Marines so the Embassy felt.. we don’t know what to do let them find the plane.

    So ensued a search for a plane that was eventually discovered, crashed into the side of a mountain. Kabul International Airport which had no ILS system our diplomate “were so shocked” to find out they had no ILS Sysmtem. The worste part was that one airport for example in Herat would not notify the Kabul airport of the planes departure. Therefore Kabul wouldn’t even know for hours if the plane was missing.

    PS. The Airtraffic Control tower was operated and overseen by the US Governments own FAA.

    Sadly to say when this aircraft was found there were 3 Americans discovered on board not 2 as suspect. The 3rd was a baby in the mothers lap. State Department Contractors recovered the bodys and escorted them to Baghram Airbase.

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