13 of 16 killed in Afghan crash were U.S. troops
3 contractors also died; 2 military personnel missing
CNN | April 7, 2005
|WASHINGTON -- Thirteen of the 16 people confirmed killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Wednesday were U.S. service members, the American military said Thursday.
Bad weather was the suspected cause, the military said.
The other three confirmed dead were civilians employed by U.S. government contractors. Two more U.S. military personnel are missing out of the 18 people listed on the flight manifest.
The names of the dead have been withheld pending notification of relatives.
The CH-47 Chinook crashed near Ghazni, 80 miles (128 kilometers) southwest of Kabul. It was returning to Bagram Air Base near the capital.
"Recovery work at the crash site will resume upon the arrival of a mortuary affairs team," U.S. military spokeswoman Lt. Cindy Moore told The Associated Press.
The team was traveling to Ghazni by road, she told the AP, because bad weather was still hampering flight operations.
Ghazni's police chief, Abdul Rahman Sarjang, told the AP his men and U.S. troops were guarding the crash site on Thursday. The crash occurred in flat desert, Afghan officials said, according to the AP.
The crash was the deadliest for the military in Afghanistan since fighting there began, AP reported.
In March 2002, seven Americans were killed when two U.S. helicopters came under heavy fire during the largest allied offensive of the war.
In March 2003, six Air Force rescue team members were killed in a helicopter accident while on the way to help two injured Afghan children. In November 2003, five U.S. troops died in a helicopter crash.