Source Pravda.Ru

Plane carrying Turkish workers crashes north of Baghdad

A cargo plane carrying Turkish workers crashed north of Baghdad on Tuesday, Iraqi and Turkish officials said. Turkey's foreign ministry said 32 people were killed.

An Iraqi security official at Baghdad airport said an Antonov plane crashed near Balad, 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of the Iraqi capital. Its passengers were mostly Turks who worked at the airport, the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media.

The official said it was unclear whether the aircraft had mechanical problems or whether it was shot down.

A Turkish foreign ministry official said initial reports indicated the plane went down due to bad weather and heavy fog. The official also spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not yet been authorized.

The pilot had aborted an initial attempt to land because of heavy fog, then crashed on a second attempt, the ministry official said.

Private Turkish news agencies said the plane was trying to land at a U.S. military base at Balad. Turkey's foreign ministry confirmed that the crash happened at Balad, but did not say whether it was at the U.S. base.

The ministry also said two people were unaccounted for, and at least one was injured.

The Antonov-26 plane, belonging to the Moldovan Aerian air company, had taken off from Sakirpasa airport in Turkey's southern city of Adana and was carrying mostly construction workers from the Kulak construction company, the governor of Adana said. The company's owner was among the dead, CNN-Turk television reported.

Phone calls to Kulak's offices in Adana and Ankara went unanswered after the crash, reports AP.

There were 35 people on board: 29 Turks and one American, as well as three air crew members from Moldova, one from Russia and one from Ukraine, Gov. Cahit Kirac said.

It was unclear whether anyone escaped the crash uninjured.

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