Passenger plane carrying 83 people crashes in Taliban-held region of Afghanistan
- Passenger plane crashed at 1.10pm local time near Ghazni city in Afghanistan
- Deh Yak district, where the crash happened, is under the control of the Taliban
- Officials initially said the plane belonged to Ariana Airlines and was a Boeing, but the airline subsequently denied that any of its planes were involved
A passenger plane from Afghanistan’s Ariana Airlines crashed Monday in a Taliban-held area of Ghazni province, local officials said.
Arif Noori, spokesman for the provincial governor, said the plane went down around 1:10 p.m. local time in Deh Yak district, which is held by the Taliban. Two provincial council members also confirmed the crash.
A total of 83 people were thought to be on board the plane, according to local media. It was not immediately clear if anyone died or what caused the crash.
However, Ariana Airlines subsequently denied that any of its aircraft had been involved in the crash.
A passenger jet belonging to Ariana Afghan Airlines caught fire and crashed in the east of the country around 1.10pm local time Monday, officials said
‘There has been an airline crash but it does not belong to Ariana because the two flights managed by Ariana today from Herat to Kabul and Herat to Delhi are safe,’ CEO Mirwais Mirzakwal said.
The mountainous Ghazni province sits in the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountains and is bitterly cold in winter.
The last major commercial air crash in Afghanistan occurred in 2005 when a Kam Air flight from western Herat to the capital Kabul crashed into the mountains as it tried to land in snowy weather.
The war however has seen a number of deadly crashes of military aircraft. One of the most spectacular occurred in 2013 when an American Boeing 747 cargo jet crashed shortly after takeoff from Bagram air base north of Kabul en route to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. All seven crew member were killed.
Afghanistan’s aviation industry suffered desperately during the rule of the Taliban when its only airline Ariana was subject to punishing sanctions and allowed to fly only to Saudi Arabia for Hajj flights.
Since the overthrow of the religious regime smaller private airlines have emerged but the industry is still a nascent one.
The plane came down in the Dih Yak region, around 80 miles south of Kabul, which is controlled by the Taliban