VAN BUREN TOWNSHIP (WWJ/AP) – An official of a Florida-based air cargo company says five of seven people killed in the crash of a civilian plane at an airfield in Afghanistan were from Michigan.
The plane crashed just after taking off Monday from Bagram Air Field, north of the Afghan capital.
Among those killed was Downriver native Brad Hasler who graduated from Gabriel Richard High School in Riverview in 1996.
WWJ Newsradio 950 spoke with his friend Justin Lanagan, who said Hasler had been an aviation fan for 20 years and had just married longtime girlfriend.
“His bachelor party was a couple weeks ago and he got married two weeks ago on a Sunday … It was a very small wedding, but his brother Bill came in from New York,” Lanagan said, adding that the couple didn’t get a chance to take a real honeymoon.
“It’s still, you know, very unfathomable that it’s real right now,” Lanagan said. “He got married and I think he spent a couple days fishing on the river and then he flew back out for work.”
Lanagan said aside from his passion for flying, Hasler also loved softball, earning the nickname “Skip” from teammates because of his leadership.
The U.S.-led military coalition says it’s investigating what caused the crash.
An official of Orlando, Fla.-based National Airlines says its Boeing 747-400 was carrying vehicles and other cargo.
Company Vice President Shirley Kaufman told the Detroit Free Press that those killed were four pilots, two mechanics and a load master. Kaufman said he’s not releasing the victims’ names but says their families have been notified.
National Airlines was based until recently at Michigan’s Willow Run Airport, west of Detroit in Wayne County’s Van Buren Township.
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