Military MC-30 crashes in Afghanistan

A1FlyBoy

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. military four-engine MC-130 special operations aircraft crashed on takeoff from a base in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday but there was no immediate word on casualties, a U.S. defense official said.

The official, who asked not to be identified, said initial reports indicated the turboprop "Combat Talon" aircraft was carrying between 10 and 15 people, including the crew.

The aircraft went down shortly after taking off at night from a combat base near Gardez about 80 miles (130 km) southwest of the capital, Kabul, the official said.

There was no indication enemy fire was involved in the crash of the $45 million aircraft and rescue teams had not yet reached the crash site, the official told Reuters.

The powerful planes, built by Lockheed Martin Corp., are modified versions of the workhorse C-130 aircraft used by military forces of many countries. The big planes are 97-feet (29 meters) long and can carry either troops or up to 25,000 pounds (11,250 kg) of cargo.

The Combat Talon is loaded with electronic equipment and weapons and is designed for night operations. It crashed late at night in eastern Afghanistan, where U.S. and Western coalition forces have been pressing a hunt for al Qaeda and Taliban fighters.

A U.S. KC-130 refueling version of the C-130 crashed into a mountain in Pakistan on Jan. 9 while trying to land, killing all seven American Marines on the aircraft.

That aircraft was on a mission supporting the U.S. military war against Taliban fighters and al Qaeda guerrillas in Afghanistan.
 
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