A cargo plane crashed in Afghanistan killing seven people on Monday. All seven of the people on board were crew members and were U.S. citizens on the cargo carrier National Airlines, reported CNN.
The crash occurred after take off at Afghanistan's Bagram Air Base and was on a Boeing 747-400 on its way to Dubai. The company said in statement according to CNN, "This was a purely cargo flight and no passengers were aboard," a company statement said. "Cargo consisted of vehicles and routine general cargo."
The cause is under investigation and has not yet been determined but a Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid said that his group shot down the plane, reported CNN. The claim hasn't been verified.
National Airlines said to CNN that six of the victims were from Michigan. They were identified as: Brad Hasler, Jeremy Lipka, Jamie Brokaw, Rinku Summan, Michael Sheets and Gary Stockdale.
The last victim, Timothy Garrett, was from Kentucky.
Chris Connerton, a friend of Jamie Brokow said to the Associated Press that he was an experienced navigator.
"He was a very good person and very smart person," Connerton told The AP via telephone.
"This is a devastating loss for our family and we'll work diligently with authorities to find the cause," National Airlines President Glen Joerger said in the statement."Our focus at this time is on the family members of those we've lost, and on assisting the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) and Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority in their investigations."
Gary Stockdale's brother Glenn Stockdale said to the AP that his brother understood that flying was dangerous.
"He always said it was dangerous," said Glenn Stockdale to the AP "He would always say, 'You either will die in a car crash or a ball of flame in a plane.'"
The Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported that Jeremy Lipka had flown in both Iraq and Afghanistan and had close calls before according to his stepfather, Dave Buttman.
"There was risk there all the time. He knew the risks. He volunteered to take the trips," Buttman said to the Star Tribune of Minneapolis. "Basically, you're taking your chances flying in there and he was just happy to be one of the pilots
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