US Air Force Bombardier Global Express (E-11A) plane crashed on Monday in a Taliban-held area of Afghanistan’s Ghazni province. It was not immediately clear how many people were on board the plane.
The U.S. military said Monday that it is investigating reports of an airplane crash in Taliban-controlled territory in Afghanistan. U.S. Army Maj. Beth Riordan, a spokeswoman for U.S. Central Command, said that it remained unclear whose aircraft was involved in the crash. Riordan declined to immediately comment further.
However, pictures on social media purportedly from the crash site showed what could be the remains of a Bombardier E-11A aircraft, which the U.S. military uses for electronic surveillance over Afghanistan.
— ?☠️ FJ ?☠️ (@Natsecjeff) January 27, 2020
Local Afghan officials had said earlier on Monday that a passenger place from Afghanistan’s Ariana Airlines had crashed in the Taliban-held area of the eastern Ghazni province. However, Ariana Airlines told The Associated Press that none of its planes had crashed in Afghanistan.
The conflicting accounts could not immediately be reconciled. The number of people on board and their fate was not immediately known, nor was the cause of the crash.
Why i think this: there are 4 E-11A in service. 11-9001,9355,9558 and 9506. The only one that seems similar is 11-9558. Although the tail does look like 350, that does not exist and could just be the bottom of the 8 cut off. Also only 9358 and 9001 have the USAF insignia[Knish] pic.twitter.com/l04r80EngY
— Aurora Intel (@AuroraIntel) January 27, 2020
Arif Noori, spokesman for the provincial governor, said the plane went down around 1:10 p.m. local time (8:40 a.m. GMT) in Deh Yak district, some 130 kilometers (80 miles) southwest of the capital Kabul. He said the crash site is in territory controlled by the Taliban. Two provincial council members also confirmed the crash.
But the acting director for Ariana Airlines, Mirwais Mirzakwal, dismissed reports that one the company’s aircraft had crashed. The state-owned airline also released a statement on its website saying all its aircraft were operational and safe.
The cause of the crash remains unclear, and no details about casualties have been given.
E-11A is the military variant of the civil Bombardier BD-700 Global Express for use as overhead communications-relay platform in SW Asia. It carries Northrop Grumman Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, or BACN, allowing disparate battlefield communications systems to share data. BACN was deployed on a test Bombardier BD-700 & originally designated RC-700A under reconnaissance classification. Re-designated E-11A under special electronics installation category.