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Marine Corp KC-130 Refueling Aircraft Has Crashed in Pakistan

Aired January 9, 2002 - 12:44   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: We are interrupting this live coverage of the trial, because of a breaking story out of the Pakistan/Afghanistan region. For the very latest, let's go to the Pentagon, and to our correspondent there Barbara Starr -- Barbara.

BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, hi.

There is breaking word here at the Pentagon right now that a Marine Corp KC-130 refueling aircraft has crashed near the city of Shamsi in western Pakistan, west of Quetta. This is very initial word. We don't have a lot of details. We are told that typically the KC-130 carries a crew of 8. There is word that there were passengers onboard this aircraft. We don't know how many. And eyewitnesses on the ground report that the plane crashed and burst into flame on final approach to where it was landing.

We know that the U.S. military uses several airbases in Pakistan, and apparently this plane was on approach. There is no indication at this time that it was enemy fire. Ground personnel observed the incident and search-and-rescue personnel are on their way to the site right now. We have no further word whether there are any survivors -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Barbara, what, this plane was on a refueling mission, was it coming back, do we know anymore about what stage in the mission it was?

STARR: We really don't, Judy, this word has just broken here in perhaps the last five minutes. It's mission is to refuel, but these aircraft move regularly in and out of the region. It was carrying passengers, so it may have simply been on a transport mission, may have done some refueling along the way.

But eyewitnesses do report that it crashed in burst into flame on final approach.

So whatever it was doing, it was apparently trying to land at one of these facilities in Pakistan -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: And, Barbara, again, we don't know whether the passengers were military passengers or what?

STARR: We don't, Judy. These aircraft regularly do transport people. Sometimes it is government personnel. Sometimes it is active duty military. But again, very, very initial word here. We have no further details, other than this crash has occurred and rescue personnel are on their way to the scene.

WOODRUFF: And one other thing, Barbara, tell us again the location of the crash?

STARR: The location that we have been given is west of the city of Quetta in Pakistan, which is fairly near to the Afghan border, near a city called Shamsi. This is the international report, and we do know that the U.S. military has been using several Pakistan airbases in that particular region of Pakistan.

WOODRUFF: All right, CNN's Barbara Starr reporting from the Pentagon, again, the breaking news that a U.S. Marine KC-130, a refueling plane, has crashed on landing at a base in Pakistan, very close to the Afghan border. CNN attempting to collect more information. Just as soon as we have it, we will bring it to you.

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