Indian among seven dead in plane crash in Iraq

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Dubai, Nov 15 (UNI) An Indian was among seven crew killed when a UAE based civilian cargo aircraft crashed in Iraq.

Among the dead was 44-year-old Jaychandran Appukutten, from India, who worked with Dubai-based Falcon Aviation Group that was transporting cargo on the plane, the Abu Dhabi based National daily said.

A friend of Appukutten, who declined to be named, told the daily that, ''The family is still waiting for any news of the body. We know that the flight has been located but not the bodies. We do not know what caused the accident. The family is shattered by the news.'' Appukutten had been living in Dubai for the past 13 years and was employed by Falcon Aviation as a load master, monitoring the loading of cargo.

Six of the crew worked for a company called British Gulf International, which owned and operated the aircraft. The company is based in Sharjah and has offices in Dubai.

Reports quoting US military said the plane took off from Al Asad air base near Fallujah, in Anbar province, on Thursday morning and lost radio contact at 1045 hrs. The Ukrainian-built AN12, which was carrying FedEx cargo to Baghdad International Airport, is believed to have crashed less than an hour later.

The US military said the likely cause was mechanical failure or pilot error, although Capt Calio added that this was for the investigation to determine.

UNI XC GL CS2354

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