New Delhi: India on Sunday clarified that the small aircraft that crashed in Afghanistan did not belong to any Indian carrier.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation in a statement said the plane refuelled at the Gaya airport while flying to Moscow from an airport in Thailand. The clarification came amid reports that the plane involved in the crash was Indian. The ministry said the aircraft was registered in Morocco.
"As per available information, the crashed aircraft is a DF-10 (Dassault Falcon) small aircraft registered in Morocco. It is not an aircraft of Indian carriers...The aircraft was an air ambulance and was flying from Thailand to Moscow and did refuelling at Gaya airport," the ministry said in the statement.
In a post on X, the ministry said the "unfortunate plane crash that has just occurred in Afghanistan is neither an Indian Scheduled Aircraft nor a Non-Scheduled (NSOP)/Charter aircraft. It is a Moroccan-registered small aircraft. More details are awaited". Quoting authorities, news agency AP said a Russian private jet carrying six people is believed to have crashed in a remote area of rural Afghanistan.
The plane had been operating as a charter ambulance flight on a route from Gaya, India, to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, onward to Zhukovsky International Airport in Moscow, as per the report. The aircraft crashed on Saturday in a mountainous area near Zebak district in Badakhshan province, regional spokesman Zabihullah Amiri said, adding that a rescue team had been dispatched to the area, it added.
As per the report, Badakhshan police chief's office also confirmed the report of the crash in a statement. Quoting Russian officials, the report said the plane belongs to Athletic Group LLC and a private individual. Further, the report quoting Russian civil aviation authorities said the plane "stopped communicating and disappeared from radar screens".