KABUL Afghanistan (AP) - An Afghan passenger plane carrying 44
people, including six foreigners, on a domestic flight crashed
Monday near the Salang Pass north of the capital, officials said.
There was no immediate word on casualties.
Rescuers were on their way to the crash site near the
12,700-foot (3,800-meter) -high Salang Pass, a major route through
the Hindu Kush mountains that connects the capital to the north.
Airport Police Chief Mohammad Asif Jabar Khil said the plane
went down about 60 miles (100 kilometers) from Kabul.
Zemeri Bashary, an Interior Ministry spokesman, said the plane
was operated by Pamir Airways, a private Afghan airline. He said
the Afghan government asked NATO for assistance. Col. Wayne Shanks,
a spokesman for U.S. and NATO forces, said the international force
had sent aircraft to help in the search.
Raz Mohammad Alami, deputy transportation minister who was
traveling to the crash site with the minister of aviation and other
officials, said the plane was carrying 44 people, including six
foreigners and six crew members.
Police chief Abdul Razaq Yabyaqoubi of northern Kunduz province
said the plane left there at 8:30 a.m. Monday, but never arrived in
Gen. Rajab, commander of the Salang Pass for the Afghan Ministry
of Public Works, said weather conditions in the region were poor.
"The weather is very bad," said Rajab, who goes by only one
name. "It is snowing. There is flooding."
Kabul-based Pamir Airways started operations in 1995. It has
daily flights to major Afghan cities and also operates flights to
Dubai and to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage.