U.S. Military Aircraft Explodes In Midair In Kyrgyzstan - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Photos Show Downed Tanker Was From Kansas Unit; No Word On Where The Crew Is From

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File Photo of US Air Force KC-135 Tanker Aircraft File Photo of US Air Force KC-135 Tanker Aircraft
Photo courtesy: Vladimir Voronin/AP Photo courtesy: Vladimir Voronin/AP
UPDATE FROM U.S. NAVY INSTITUTE - Remains of the KC-135 that crashed Friday in Kyrgyzstan appear to be from an aircraft based at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. as part of the 22nd Air Refueling Wing.

An Associated Press photograph from the scene show a vertical stabilizer from the crashed aircraft. Along the top ridge the letters "onnell," can be read in block letters. A separate photograph shows a tail number of, "AMC 38877."

It's still not clear at this hour where the crew is from.

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UPDATE: SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - It is unclear if a military tanker refueling plane that crashed Friday in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan is from Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane.
    
A Fairchild spokesman says the KC-135 with three crew members aboard is assigned to a base called the Transit Center at Manas in that central Asian country.
    
Many Fairchild planes and air crews operate out of the Transit Center at Manas.
    
But a Fairchild spokesman says they do not yet know if the crashed plane is from Fairchild.
    
There was no immediate word on the fate of the crew. The U.S. base in Kyrgyzstan says it has no immediate information on the cause of the crash.

UPDATE: NBCNEWS.COM - A U.S. military aircraft exploded in mid air and crashed in Southern Kyrgyzstan on Friday. According to the Central Asian country's emergency ministry the plane caught fire and crashed.

U.S. officials have only confirmed that a U.S. Military cargo plane has crashed on the border of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Rescuers are actively searching for survivors.

The plane took off from the U.S. Military Transit Center at the Manas Airport where U.S. forces maintain operations in support of operations in Afghanistan.

According to the Interfax News Agency, the plane disappeared from radar screens ten minutes after three in the afternoon local time.

Weather conditions were stormy according to local aviation officials.

Manas was set up as a U.S. transport center in 2001 and is used to transport personnel and supplies in and out of Afghanistan.

PRESS RELEASE FROM TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, KYRGYZSTAN

MANAS, Kyrgyzstan - A U.S. Air Force KC-135 tanker aircraft crashed today in northern Kyrgyzstan. Emergency response crews are on scene. The status of the crew is unknown.
 
The crew and aircraft are assigned to the Transit Center at Manas near Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
 
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
 
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