KABUL, Afghanistan — A civilian cargo plane trying to land at Kabul’s international airport crashed into the mountains last night, and Afghan and NATO officials said they feared there were no survivors among the eight people aboard.
NATO helicopters and members of the Afghan National Security Forces were searching for the wreckage, according to a NATO statement. The cause of the crash was unclear.
The plane was a civilian version of the C-130 transport aircraft the military uses for cargo, the NATO statement said.
General Zahir Azimi, the Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman, said the plane went down near Pul-i-Charkhi, east of Kabul. The city lies in the middle of a circle of mountains, and when planes reduce altitude as they are coming in for a landing, they run the risk of crashing into the peaks. The mountainous area east of Kabul was where a Kam Air plane crashed in February 2005, killing 104.
The plane in yesterday’s crash was operated by Transafrik, a cargo carrier flying on behalf of National Air Cargo in Orchard Park, N.Y., and it was delivering a load of general repair parts, National Air Cargo said in a statement. It said eight people were aboard, including one National Air Cargo employee, but the company did not disclose their names or nationalities.
“The status of the personnel on board and cause of the crash are unknown at this time,’’ the company said in its statement.