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Turkey: Iraq plane crash kills 30

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- At least 30 Turkish workers have been killed and two others injured in a plane crash near an airport north of Baghdad, Turkey's foreign ministry told CNN.

The plane, reported to be an Antonov-26 operated by a company based in Moldova, went down in heavy fog on Tuesday morning about two and a half kilometers (1.6 miles) northwest of Balad, the ministry said.

It had departed from Adana, Turkey at about 6 a.m. (7 a.m. Baghdad time) and crashed about six hours later.

A Turkish airline official told CNN Turk television that the plane was carrying 30 passengers and five crew members from Turkey, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.

It was unclear if anyone escaped uninjured.

CNN Turk said the pilot aborted an initial landing attempt, then crashed on his second attempt.

The plane belonged to Moldova's Aerian Tur Airlines, Reuters reported, and the workers on board were from Turkish construction company Kulak, the Turkish Foreign Ministry official said.

The plane had a capacity to seat 48 people, the airline official said.

Balad is the main U.S. military logistics hub in Iraq about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Baghdad.

The U.S. military, which controls Iraqi air space, refused to comment on the incident, Reuters said.

There was no indication that hostile fire brought down the aircraft. In 2005, hostile fire was believed to have downed a British military transport plane in the same area, killing all 10 people on board. (Full story)


story.antonov.jpg

An Antonov-26, similar to the one that crashed on Tuesday

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