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BISHKEK, May 4 (Itar-Tass) - Body fragments of the crew members of the plane, which crashed in Kyrgyzstan, were found on the site, the republic’s emergency situations ministry reported on Saturday.
“As yet, it is complicated to say, how many bodies were there, as the fragments are numerous and as yet we are unable to identify those,” the source said. About 50 rescuers continue working at the site.
The KC-135 plane crashed around 14:55 local time (12:55 Moscow time) minutes after take-off from Manas airport in Bishkek. The wreckage was found approximately 80 kilometres to the west of Bishkek near the villages of Cholok-Aryk and Chorgolu close to the border with Kazakhstan. The captain told the air controller that he wanted to bypass a thunderstorm eight or nine minutes after take-off at an altitude of about 6,000 meters. Witnesses say that the plane started falling apart when it was still in the air and split into three parts when it touched the ground. The wreckage trail was one kilometre around the crash site.
The Transit Centre had been called a coalition forces air base until 2009. Its backbone is still formed by the servicemen and vehicles of the U.S. Air Force. The air base is meant for supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.