A Russian business jet that went off the radar in a mountainous area of Afghanistan has crashed, as confirmed by Russia's federal air transport agency, Rosaviatsia.
The crash occurred on Sunday morning in the Badakhshan Province of northeast Afghanistan, Zabihullah Amiri, the head of the local Information and Culture Department, told Tolo news agency as reported by RT.
Amiri, however, stated that a search team has been sent to the area.
According to Rosaviatsia, the aircraft is a Falcon 10 corporate jet, registered with a Russian company. The plane was en route from Gaya in India to Moscow’s Zhukovsky Airport, via Uzbek capital Tashkent, it said. The aircraft initially departed from Thailand’s Utapao Airport.
Rosaviatsia’s data suggests that there were four crew members and two passengers on board.
The plane was carrying out a medical evacuation from the Thai city of Pattaya of a Russian woman accompanied by her husband, according to the Russian Consulate in Bangkok.
The plane crashed due to an engine problem, the spokesman for the Taliban government in Afghanistan Abdul Wahid Rayan said in a statement on X (formerly Twitter). He also claimed that there were “seven Russians abroad” and that the aircraft belonged to a Moroccan firm.
The Falcon 10 is an early business jet from the French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation. It was produced between 1971 and 1989 but remains popular on the secondary market.
The plane that crashed in the Afghan mountains does not belong to an Indian carrier, the Civil Aviation Ministry in New Delhi clarified on Twitter.
Initial media reports incorrectly identified the plane as being an Indian passenger aircraft. The plane was neither a scheduled nor a charter aircraft, the statement added.