The U.S. Air Force on Dec. 14, 2004 said it has begun flying C-130s to transport cargo above the most dangerous routes in Iraq to ease pressure on truck convoys increasingly targeted by insurgents. 
Photo by Sgt. Howard Blair/Reuters

12 dead after US C-130 transport plane crashes in Afghanistan: Officials

Updated

Twelve people, including five American service members, were killed early Friday when a U.S. C-130 transport plane crashed while taking off from an airport in Afghanistan, a U.S. military official said.

The crash happened shortly after midnight local time (3:30 p.m. ET) at Jalalabad airport, coalition spokesperson U.S. Army Col. Brian Tribus said.

Five of the dead were U.S. service members that were the crew of the aircraft, five were civilian contractors who were passengers, and two were local Afghan civilians who were killed on the ground, the military official said.

A cause for the crash has not been determined. The military official said there were no reports of hostile activity in the area at the time of the crash.

The C-130 is a four-engine turboprop aircraft used to transport personnel and oversized cargo.

This article first appeared at NBCNews.com

public safety

12 dead after US C-130 transport plane crashes in Afghanistan: Officials

Updated