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Crashed plane's black box, bodies found

Crashed plane's black box, bodies found

By
On
May 21, 2010 - 10:12

<!--break--><p>KABUL (PAN): The black box of a crashed plane and a number of mutilated bodies have been found on a mountainside north of Kabul, officials said on Friday. The bodies were expected to reach the capital in the afternoon.</p><p>The Antonov-24, operated by Pamir Airways, went down with 44 passengers on board in Shakar Dara mountains on Monday. The ill-fated plane crashed half an hour after takeoff from the Kunduz airfield at 8:30am.</p><p>Khalilullah Ferozi, Kabul Bank chief and member of the rescue team, told Pajhwok Afghan News they had recovered the aircraft's black box, which would help determine the cause of the crash.</p><p>He did not give a specific number of the bodies collected so far, saying many of them could not be recognised. Determined efforts were being made to recover all the corpses as soon as possible, but the mission could take two days, he suggested.</p><p>Dozens of shell-shocked relatives of the victims gathered at a playground in Charikar -- capital of central Parwan province and waited with bated breath for the arrival of the passengers' remains.</p><p>Kabul resident Asadullah, one of the waiting people pacing around the stadium, said his nephew was on the ill-fated flight. Much to his chagrin, however, the authorities announced the bodies were being transported to the capital.</p><p>The bodies retrieved by rescuers, including Afghan National Army and police officials, were charred beyond recognition, confirmed a spokesman for the Ministry of Transport and Aviation.</p><p>But Nangyalay Qalatwal did not put a specific figure on the corpses collected today. He said rescue teams were still looking for bodies in mountains between Shakar Dara and Gul Dara districts.</p><p>Police official Ajmal Haideri, soon after his return from the scene to Charikar, said they reached the spot after a 90-minute mountain trek. "We have collected some of the limbs and other body parts. Rescue workers are still busy looking for the remains strewn across a steep mountainside."</p><p>Apparently, there was no sign of survivors at the Shakar Dara site, where snow and swift winds made the operation difficult.</p><p>The tail of the plane with a blue logo of the Pamir Airways was spotted on Thursday. The wreckage was found by NATO aviation photography three days after the crash. The passengers included six foreigners and five crewmembers.</p><p>mud</p>