USAF says ‘it appears we lost a plane’ as Afghani journos uncover DOCUMENTS from crash site (PHOTOS)
"It appears we have lost an aircraft. We don't know the status of the crew," Gen. David Goldfein, the Air Force's chief of staff, told reporters at a Monday meeting in Washington. This is the closest to a confirmation from the US military so far, and the Pentagon earlier declined to comment.
The aircraft, believed to be a USAF Bombardier/Northrop Grumman E-11A, a surveillance and communications plane, went down in central Afghanistan on Monday. There has been some confusion as to whether Taliban militants have claimed responsibility for the crash, however, their initial statement in Pushtu only stated that the plane had gone down.
Footage from the scene shows that the aircraft burned upon the impact, with only its tail section remaining largely intact.
@pajhwok reporter Saifullah Maftoon visited the area in #Ghazni province, where an Aircraft crashed today, #Taliban said few US force officers were killed in this incident. #Afghanistanpic.twitter.com/vJ1fB2kspb— Pajhwok Afghan News (@pajhwok) January 27, 2020
Some documents, however, managed to survive the blaze and were pictured by local media lying scattered at the crash site.
@pajhwok reporter Saifullah Maftoon visited the area in #Ghazni province, where an Aircraft crashed today, Our reporter found some document there. #Taliban said few US force officers were killed in this incident. #Afghanistanpic.twitter.com/2NhFbvgMGm— Pajhwok Afghan News (@pajhwok) January 27, 2020
Other graphic pictures from the scene show at least one badly charred corpse, which was recovered from the wreckage.
The destroyed aircraft bears markings matching those of a US military plane, utilized by the US Air Force’s 430th Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron, which is stationed at Kandahar airbase. The E-11As are used as communication planes that provide reliable comms coverage for troops below – which is an especially tricky job in mountainous terrain.
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