An Afghan plane with at least 43 passengers crashed in a snowstorm in the Hindu Kush mountains Monday, and Western military forces were among those trying to find the wreckage and rescue survivors.
The plane, an older Russian Antonov-24 turboprop, was carrying at least five foreigners, said officials in the northern city of Kunduz, which is where the flight originated.
The aircraft, operated by Pamir airways, took off at 8:30 a.m. for the capital Kabul when it disappeared after entering the airspace over the mountains of the Salang Pass in Afghanistan. Authorities believe that the plane went down roughly 60 miles north of Kabul.
Afghanistan’s private airlines have a number of older Russian aircraft, such as the AN-24, in their fleets. That particular aricraft is at least 30 years old, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Afghan officials have solicited help from NATO’s International Security Assistance Force to conduct a rescue operation, while the Western military said that it had sent fixed-wing aircraft and two helicopters to the area where the plane was believed to have been lost.
The majority of the Western forces that are stationed in the Kunduz province are German, according to The Los Angeles Times.