Karachi, Feb. 24 (Reuters): An Afghan minister and seven others were killed on Monday when their chartered aircraft crashed into the sea off Pakistan, officials said, in the countryís second fatal air crash in less than a week.
The twin-engined Cessna 402 carrying Afghan minister for petroleum and mines Juma Mohammad Mohammadi, four aides and Sun Changsheng, the chief executive of Chinese engineering firm MCC Resource Development Co, crashed west of the southern port of Karachi with eight people aboard.
Pakistan navy spokesman Commander Roshan Khayal said the wreckage had been found about 30 nautical miles offshore in the second fatal air crash in Pakistani territory in less than a week.
The last mishap killed Pakistanís air force chief. Local police chief Syed Kamal Shah told reporters five bodies, including those of three Afghans and the two Pakistani pilots, had been identified of the six found.
Pakistanís foreign ministry spokesman Aziz Ahmed Khan called the crash an unfortunate accident. Mohammadi had held talks in Pakistan at the weekend on a multi-billion dollar pipeline project that would link Turkmenistan and Pakistan via Afghanistan.
His delegation had been travelling to a copper and gold mining project being run by the Chinese firm in Saindak, in Pakistanís Baluchistan province, about 750 km northwest of Karachi.
An official of the Civil Aviation Authority said it was too early to say what caused the crash.