Wednesday, April 06, 2005

U.S. Military Says 16 Dead In Chopper Crash; Crash Is Deadliest Since U.S.-Led Offensive Began In 2001

Crash Is Deadliest Since U.S.-Led Offensive Began In 2001

UPDATED: 3:00 pm PDT April 6, 2005

KABUL, Afghanistan -- The U.S. military now says 16 people have died in the crash of a U.S. helicopter Wednesday in Afghanistan, in the deadliest military crash since the U.S.-led offensive began in 2001.

The military said four American crew members and at least 12 others died. An Afghan police official said all of the dead appeared to be American.

Two others are listed as missing.

Earlier, the military said there were nine people killed in the crash. But that death toll has risen.

The military said bad weather appeared to have brought down the Chinook transport helicopter about 80 miles southwest of Kabul and that there were no survivors.

The military would not confirm the nationalities of the passengers Names are being withheld until their next of kin are notified.

Abdul Rahman Sarjang, the chief of police in Ghazni, said the helicopter came down at about 2:30 p.m. near a brick factory three miles outside the city and burst into flames. U.S. troops rushed to cordon the area to look for any survivors, he said.

"We collected nine bodies, though the Americans told us there were 13 people in total on board," Sarjang told AP by mobile telephone from the crash site. "They were all wearing American uniforms and they were all dead."

Sarjang said the weather was cloudy with strong winds, but had no explanation for why the aircraft came down in a flat, desert area.

He said there was no sign that enemy fire could have brought it down. - News - U.S. Military Says 16 Dead In Chopper Crash

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President George W. Bush's statement in March 2006 after 3 yrs of war "a future President will have to resolve war in Iraq"


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