It appears the three crew members lost in the overseas loss of a KC-135 tanker were from Spokane, Wash., but the aircraft was based in Kansas. Two of the three bodies have been recovered after the loaded tanker apparently exploded in flight and crashed in Kyrgyzstan. The aircraft was on its way to support the mission in Afghanistan but that’s about all military authorities are saying. The aircraft, which was based at McConnell AFB in Wichita, was deployed to Manas, a U.S. military base leased in Kyrgyzstan.
Witnesses quoted by numerous sources said the aircraft exploded in flight. Wreckage was scattered over a grassy area in the mountainous area. “I was working with my father in the field, and I heard an explosion. When I looked up at the sky I saw the fire. When it was falling, the plane split into three pieces,” Sherikbek Turusbekov told an AP reporter at the site.