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Plane crash in Iraq kills at least 30 workers

Thirty people were killed on Tuesday when their Moldovan plane crashed while trying to land in foggy conditions in Iraq, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official said. Two people were also reportedly injured.
/ Source: news services

A cargo plane carrying Turkish workers crashed during landing at an airstrip north of Baghdad, killing 30 people and injuring at least two, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

Initial reports indicated the plane crashed due to bad weather and heavy fog, a Foreign Ministry official said on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not yet been authorized.

Private Turkish news agencies said the plane was trying to land around noon local time (7 a.m. ET) at the U.S. military base at Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad. The Foreign Ministry confirmed that the crash happened at Balad, but did not say whether it was at the U.S. base.

The Antonov-26 plane had taken off from an airport in Turkey’s southern city of Adana and was carrying construction workers from the Kulak construction company, the governor of Adana said. The company’s owner was among the dead, CNN-Turk television reported.

Phone calls to Kulak’s offices in Adana and Ankara went unanswered after the crash.

On board were 29 Turks and one American, as well as three air crew members from Moldova, one from Russia and one from Ukraine, Gov. Cahit Kirac said. The deputy head of Turkey’s aviation authority, Ali Ariduru, confirmed that there were 35 people on board, but did not give the names or nationalities of the killed and injured.

It was unclear whether anyone escaped the crash uninjured.

CNN-Turk television said the pilot had aborted an initial landing attempt for an unknown reason, then crashed on his second attempt.