US Air Force plane crashes in Afghanistan

Passenger plane crashes in Afghan Ghazni province

Officials with the U.S. military confirmed Monday that a small military aircraft crashed earlier in the day in Afghanistan.

Authorities said the Bombardier E-11A crashed in the Ghazni province, a territory under Taliban control, according to multiple reports. Officials are investigating the incident, said Col. Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Update 2:30 p.m. EST Jan. 27: Col. Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement Monday that the Bombadier E-11A that reportedly crashed Monday in the Ghazni providence was a U.S. military plane.

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Authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash.

“While the cause of (the) crash is still under investigation, there are no indications the crash was caused by enemy fire,” Leggett said. "Taliban claims that additional aircraft have crashed are false."

Reports indicated two people might have died in Monday’s crash. Gen. Dave Goldfein, chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, told the Military Times authorities are trying to determine the conditions of the downed plane’s crew.

“We don’t know the status of the status of the crew,” Goldfein told the Military Times. “I probably know as much as you do at this point.”

Update 10:25 a.m. EST Jan. 27: A Taliban spokesman has claimed that the plane that crashed Monday in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province was a U.S. Air Force plane, The Associated Press reported.

Video of the crash which surfaced Monday appeared to show a downed U.S. Air Force electronic surveillance plane, according to the AP and BBC News. A video shared on social media by Iranian news agency Fars appeared to show a crashed Bombardier E-11A jet, BBC News reported.

Authorities initially said the plane, which crashed around 1 p.m. local time Monday, was operated by Afghanistan’s Ariana Afghan Airlines, however, officials later said the plane was actually owned by “foreign forces,” The New York Times reported.

Update 10 a.m. EST Jan. 27: An official with the U.S. Department of Defense told the Military Times authorities investigating reports of a downed aircraft in Afghanistan on Monday were hampered by inclement weather.

“We are aware of the reports and are investigating,” the official, who was not identified, told the Military Times. “At this point, we cannot confirm it is a DOD asset.”

Adam Khan Sirat, a spokesman for police in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, initially said the plane was operated by Ariana Afghan Airlines, but later said the aircraft was actually owned by “foreign forces,” according to The New York Times.

Original report: A passenger plane has crashed in the Deh Yak district of the Afghan province of Ghazni, the BBC reported.

The crash happened in a Taliban-controlled region of the country and Afghan special forces have been sent to the crash site, Reuters reported.

But officials with the Ghazni provincial council said Afghan security forces have no access to the region, The New York Times reported.

Originally a report from senior Afghan officials said the plane that crashed was one of the state-owned airline’s aircraft, but the acting CEO of Ariana Afghan Airlines said the two flights managed by the airline reached their destinations, Reuters reported.

CBS News reported that the bodies of two pilots were found at the crash site and that the plane was destroyed. Government officials said the plane was not owned by an Afghan carrier but did not say whose plane it was.

NBC News reported that an estimated 100 people were killed and officials are looking for other victims.

The wreckage is so damaged, officials can’t tell what company owned the plane or which country it flies out of. The only information they can make out is 385, NBC News reported.