A U.S. government-leased transport plane carrying anti-narcotic officials crashed into a southern Afghan nomad settlement Monday after trying to avoid a truck on the runway, coalition forces said. One nomad child was killed and nine people injured.
The Russian-made twin-engine Antonov 32 transport aircraft crashed at Bost airport in Lashkar Gah, capital of the southern Helmand province, Canadian military spokesman Maj. Quentin Innis said.
The plane was leased by the U.S. State Department and was carrying a team from the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement agency, which has been involved in a large-scale anti-opium campaign across southern Afghanistan, Innis said.
“The aircraft was on final approach when a civilian truck drove across the runway,” he said. “The pilot pulled up to avoid hitting the truck but was unable to gain sufficient speed to remain airborne.”
Helmand deputy provincial Gov. Amir Mohammed Aghunzada said the plane careened into nomad tents and mud brick homes near the air strip, killing a 3-year-old girl, and wounding six nomads.
At least three people onboard the plane were also injured and evacuated by a military helicopter, he added.
Innis said military helicopters flew to the scene to help the wounded.