Afghan plane wreckage discovered; no survivors
NATO helicopter gunships found the shattered wreckage of a missing Afghan airliner on a frigid mountain east of the capital Kabul Saturday, and officials said they believed none of the 104 people aboard could have survived the crash.
Six Americans were believed to have been on board, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul said, double the number previously reported.
Afghan police struggled through deep snow to within sight of the scattered debris, but reported no sign of life beyond scavenging animals and birds and were forced back by darkness and plummeting temperatures.
"So far we don't think there are any survivors," said Lutfullah Mashal, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Interior. "The plane is completely destroyed."
The Boeing 737-200, flown by Kam-Air, post-Taliban Afghanistan's first private airline, vanished from radar screens Thursday afternoon as it approached Kabul airport in a snowstorm, sparking a massive search operation for the 96 passengers and eight crew, at least 24 of them foreigners.
If all are confirmed dead, it would be the country's deadliest air disaster.