Flight recorders from crashed U.S. military plane found in Kyrgyzstan

May 20, 2013 at 9:46 AM
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BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, May 20 (UPI) -- Searchers found flight recorders from a U.S. military plane that crashed in Kyrgyzstan May 3, the Kyrgyz Transport and Communication Ministry said Monday.

A ministry spokesman said the recorders were found in debris at the crash site and turned over to U.S. officials for analysis, RIA Novosti reported.

The Boeing KC-135 refueling tanker with a three-member crew crashed into a gorge about 36 miles west of Bishkek soon after taking off from the U.S. Transit Center at Bishkek's international airport.

The ministry spokesman said DNA tests confirmed remains found were those of the three crew members.

"In connection with this, all search operations at the crash site have been terminated," the spokesman said.

The plane may have carried up to 90 tons of fuel when it exploded, scattering debris over several miles.

Residents have expressed concern that some of the fuel may have contaminated the area near the crash site, RIA Novosti said.

"We still do not know how much fuel on board the plane burned and how much went into the rivers. Samples have been taken for analysis but we have not had the results yet," local environmental activist Chynara Bekboyeva said.

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