BISHKEK (Reuters) - Remains of two bodies have been found in the wreckage of a U.S. military plane that crashed in Kyrgyzstan, and authorities are still looking for a third person who was on board, officials said.
The refueling plane exploded in mid air when its cargo of fuel ignited on its way to Afghanistan on Friday, accident investigators said.
Experts were still trying to work out what led up to the crash, said Kuvan Mamakeev, the Kyrgyz state prosecutor responsible for investigating transport crimes and accidents.
“It could be because of the fuel, because of the engine, the weather conditions or the human factor,” he told Reuters.
Remains of the two bodies were found on Saturday, and a third person on board was still unaccounted for, Kyrgyzstan’s Minister of Emergency Situations, Kubatbek Boronov, added.
The Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker took off from the U.S. military transit center at Kyrgyzstan’s Manas airport, which U.S. forces maintain for operations in Afghanistan, with around 70 tonnes of fuel on board, a local ministry official said.
The wreckage of the plane was scattered over a 4 to 5 km area in a mountainous area near the Kyrgyz village of Chaldovar, the official added.
Reporting by Olga Dzyubenko, writing by Jason Bush; Editing by Andrew Heavens