BISHKEK, May 4 (Itar-Tass) - Body fragments of the pilots from the US KC-135 plane, which crashed in Kyrgyzstan, will be given to the American side, the republic’s emergency situations ministry told Itar-Tass on Saturday.
“The bodies will be given to representatives of the Transit Centre,” the source said. “American specialists are working at the site now.”
The identification “requires forensic studies’” which the ministry is unable to make, the ministry said. “This will be carried out by the American specialists.”
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.