C-5 Cargo Plane Hit By Missile
At Baghdad - Lands Safely
From correspondents in Washington
The Australian

WASHINGTON -- A US Air Force C-5 cargo plane carrying 63 passengers and crew members apparently hit by a surface-to-air missile today as it took off from Baghdad international airport managed to land safely, a senior US defence official said.
"It looks like its number four engine was hit by a surface-to-air missile, but it was able to turn around, come back and land," the official said.
An investigation into the incident was under way.
Earlier, the air force said in a statement that the C-5 declared an inflight emergency "because of excessive engine vibrations in their number four engine".
"The aircraft had just departed the airport when the problem occurred. The crew was able to land safely. There were 63 passengers and crewmembers on board the aircraft. No injuries were reported," it said.
It would be the third time since May 1, when major combat operations were declared over, that a plane has been hit by a surface-to-air missile while flying out of Baghdad international airport.
On December 10, a defence official in Washington said an Air Force C-17 cargo and troop transport plane was hit by a surface-to-air missile after takeoff from Baghdad with a crew of three and 13 passengers.
On November 22, a DHL cargo plane was hit by a shoulder-fired SA-14 surface-to-air missile as it took off from Baghdad airport. DHL temporarily suspended flights into Iraq after the incident.
© The Australian




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