Agence France-Presse

Bodies of 3 Americans found at Kyrgyzstan crash site

A picture taken on May 3, 2013, shows a US military refuelling plance wreck in Chorgolo. The US KC-135 Stratotanker plane crashed in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan shortly after taking off from a base that serves as a key hub for the campaign in Afghanistan, leaving the fate of its three American crew unknown.

The bodies of three American crew members were found today near where their military refueling plane crashed in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan.

The KC-135 Stratotanker — believed to be carrying dozens of tonnes of fuel — was being flown by a crew of three when it exploded and broke up midair before crashing about 61 miles from the capital of Bishkek yesterday.

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The bodies of two crew members were found near the crash site at about 7 a.m. local time.

Tolonbek Arpatchiev, a member of the government team probing the accident, later told AFP that the third body had also been recovered.

Experts were still trying to work out what led up to the crash, Kuvan Mamakeev, the Kyrgyz state prosecutor responsible for investigating transport crimes and accidents, told Reuters.

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"It could be because of the fuel, because of the engine, the weather conditions or the human factor," he said.

The crew members have not yet been identified.

The plane was on a refueling mission for Afghanistan war operations at the time of the crash, which occurred west of the air base the US operates in Kyrgyzstan.

AFP contributed to this report.

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