VIDEO: Afghanistan plane crash
Wednesday 1 May 2013 11:01 a.m.
The US Government is sending a team of aviation accident investigators to Afghanistan after an American cargo company's freighter plane crashed.
A Boeing 747-400F, operated by National Air Cargo, took off from Bagram Air Base, stalled and crashed to the ground in a ball of fire on Monday.
All seven American crew members were killed.
The cause of the crash is unknown but some aviation blogs have speculated that loose cargo shifting to the rear of the aircraft during takeoff may be to blame.
Footage believed to be of the accident, recorded from a nearby vehicle's dashboard, was uploaded to the internet last night.
The video has a time stamp showing the wrong date - 2013/02/01 – but there are numerous explanations for this including an inconsistent power supply to the recording unit.
- VIDEO: Freighter crashes after take-off (Warning – footage may disburb)
The Afghanistan Ministry of Transportation and Commercial Aviation is leading the investigation and the National Transportation Safety Board from the US will arrive today.
Three NTSB investigators, as well as representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing, will make up the US investigation team.
The plane was destined for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
National Air Cargo vice president Shirley Kaufman says those killed were four pilots, two mechanics and a load master, who was responsible for making sure that the weight and balance of the cargo is appropriate.
The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for downing the plane, but NATO said later the claims were false, and there was no sign of insurgent activity in the area at the time of the crash.
National Airlines was based until recently at Michigan's Willow Run Airport, west of Detroit in Wayne County's Van Buren Township.
It carries commercial and military cargo and employs about 225 people.
The crash comes only two days after a US surveillance plane crashed killing its two crew in the southern Afghan province of Zabul. It is believed bad wether was to blame.