May 4 - Investigators sift through the wreckage of a U.S. mililtary refuelling plane which crashed after exploding in mid-air. Paul Chapman reports.
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A thunderstorm is one possible cause in the crash of this U.S. military refuelling plane in Kyrgyzstan.
That's the theory of one Kyrgyz civil aviation official, according to the Interfax news agency.
Rescuers on horseback were still searching the mountainous area around for any sign of its three crew.
Witnesses said the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker exploded in mid-air.
(SOUNDBITE) (Kyrgyz) CRASH WITNESS SHERKIBEK TURUSBEKOV, SAYING:
"I was working in the field and heard the sound of explosions, saw a great fire - that fire fell and broke into three pieces when it hit the ground, all the pieces were falling. Three or four places burned and smoked, and the wing was falling apart."
The aircraft was on its way from Kyrgyzstan to Afghanistan when it crashed.
The U.S. transit centre said an investigation was underway.
The aircraft came down near the village of Chaldovar after vanishing from radar screens mid-afternoon local time.
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