Picture stories

Tanker jet crash in Kyrgyzstan

CHALDOVAR, Kyrgyzstan — An aerial tanker jet reportedly flown by a Fairchild Air Force Base crew crashed today in the rugged mountains of Kyrgyzstan, the Central Asian nation where the U.S. operates an air base key to the war in Afghanistan.

Related story: Bodies found at Kyrgyzstan tanker crash site
Related story: Fairchild crew reportedly aboard crashed tanker


A spokesman for U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Florida, told Reuters News Service that the congressman was advised the KC-135 Stratotanker was based out of McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas but that it was being operated by a Fairchild crew. Fairchild Air Force Base officials would not confirm the report today.

From S-R staff and wire reports

Vladimir Voronin - Associated Press

Smoldering wreckage from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 tanker aircraft wreckage is strewn across a field near the village of Chaldovar, about 100 miles (160 kms) west of the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, Friday, May 3, 2013. The emergencies ministry in Kyrgyzstan says a US military plane has crashed in the country. Kyrgyzstan hosts a US base that is used for troops transiting into and out of Afghanistan and for C-135 tanker planes that refuel warplanes in flight.


“Right now the crew is officially listed as missing because we don’t have any bodies. The airplane blew up in flight,” Master Sgt. Eugene Taylor said. “Because they are listed as missing, that might hold up the notification process.”

From S-R staff and wire reports

Vladimir Voronin - Associated Press

Kyrgyz people look at the wreckage from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 tanker aircraft wreckage is strewn across a field near the village of Chaldovar, about 100 miles (160 kms) west of the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, Friday, May 3, 2013. The emergencies ministry in Kyrgyzstan says a US military plane has crashed in the country. Kyrgyzstan hosts a US base that is used for troops transiting into and out of Afghanistan and for C-135 tanker planes that refuel warplanes in flight.


There was no immediate word on whether any of the crew members were able to eject, and if they had the search for survivors would be complicated by the harsh terrain in the region. The U.S. base in Kyrgyzstan, called the Transit Center at Manas, said it had no immediate information on the cause of the crash, but a resident of the agricultural and sheep-grazing area said the plane exploded in flight.

From S-R staff and wire reports

Vladimir Voronin - Associated Press

Wreckage from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 tanker aircraft wreckage is strewn across a field near the village of Chaldovar, about 100 miles (160 kms) west of the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, Friday, May 3, 2013. The emergencies ministry in Kyrgyzstan says a US military plane has crashed in the country. Kyrgyzstan hosts a US base that is used for troops transiting into and out of Afghanistan and for C-135 tanker planes that refuel warplanes in flight.


The crash site is near Chaldovar, a village about 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of the base. Pieces of the plane, including its tail, lay in a grassy field bordered by mountains; the air was infused with the heavy stench of petrol.

From S-R staff and wire reports

Vladimir Voronin - The Spokesman-Review

A Kyrgyz policeman investigates a U.S. Air Force KC-135 tanker aircraft wreckage as a local citizen speaks to The Associated Press photographer on a field near the village of Chaldovar, about 100 miles (160 kms) west of the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, Friday, May 3, 2013. The emergencies ministry in Kyrgyzstan says a US military plane has crashed in the country. Kyrgyzstan hosts a US base that is used for troops transiting into and out of Afghanistan and for C-135 tanker planes that refuel warplanes in flight.


Vladimir Voronin - Associated Press

Wreckage from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 tanker aircraft wreckage is strewn across a field near the village of Chaldovar, about 100 miles (160 kms) west of the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, Friday, May 3, 2013. The emergencies ministry in Kyrgyzstan says a US military plane has crashed in the country. Kyrgyzstan hosts a US base that is used for troops transiting into and out of Afghanistan and for C-135 tanker planes that refuel warplanes in flight.


Vladimir Voronin - Associated Press

Wreckage from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 tanker aircraft wreckage is strewn across a field near the village of Chaldovar, about 100 miles (160 kms) west of the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, Friday, May 3, 2013. The emergencies ministry in Kyrgyzstan says a US military plane has crashed in the country. Kyrgyzstan hosts a US base that is used for troops transiting into and out of Afghanistan and for C-135 tanker planes that refuel warplanes in flight.


The base has been the subject of a contentious dispute between the United States and its host nation. In 2009, the U.S. reached an agreement with the Kyrgyz government to use it in return for $60 million a year. But the lease runs out in June 2014, and the U.S. wants to keep it longer to aid in the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. Kyrgyzstan is reluctant to extend the lease.

From S-R staff and wire reports

Recent Picture Stories



Close

Sections


Profile

Close

Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
(800) 338-8801
Newsroom:
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801