Engine Failure, Impact Eyed After Deadly Afghanistan C-130 Crash

by Courtney Kube and Phil Helsel /  / Updated 

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A U.S. C-130 transport plane that crashed at Jalalabad airport in Afghanistan early Friday morning — killing 14 people — apparently suffered engine failure before the accident, a senior defense official said.

At least 10 Americans were killed in the crash — six U.S. service members and four contractors supporting the mission to train Afghan security forces.

Three Afghan civilians on the ground and another contractor of unknown nationality were also killed. Officials previously said two Afghans died in the crash.

Image: Military plane crashed in Jalalabad
A drone lands at Jalalabad Airport in Jalalabad, Afghanistan on Oct. 2, 2015. A US military C-130 J transport plane crashed in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan, killing six crew and five civilian passengers on board, the military said.GHULAMULLAH HABIBI / EPA

The official said the transport aircraft clipped a security barrier, but it has not yet been determined whether the impact occurred before or after the engine failure.

President Barack Obama on Friday expressed his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the crash. "As we mark this terrible loss of life, we are reminded of the sacrifice brave Americans and our Afghan partners make each and every day in the name of freedom and security," Obama said in a statement.

"Their willingness to serve so selflessly will not be forgotten," Obama said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families and loved ones during this difficult hour. May God bless their souls."

Four of the crew who died were airmen were from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and two were from Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts. Four of the five contractors were Americans, but the nationality of the other contractor was still unknown Friday, the defense official said.

The identities of those killed were not released. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said the circumstances of the crash are still under investigation.

"While we are still trying to determine exactly what happened, this is a reminder of the risks that our men and women face serving their country in remote places all over the world," Carter said. "Let us not forget the importance of their service, and the critical mission they died supporting."

The military said it does not believe there was any enemy fire involved in the crash.

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