Three pilots from Afghanistan’s former army lost their lives in a plane crash in Polk County, Oregon, on Saturday.
The three pilots, Mohammad Hussain Musawi (35), Mohammad Bashir Safdari (35), and Ali Jan Ferdawsi (29), had arrived in Oregon in 2022.
According to US media reports, the fatal crash occurred near Hoffman Road in Independence shortly before 5 p.m.
Darwaish Zakhil, the director of the Afghan Support Network in Beaverton, described Musawai as an experienced pilot dedicated to his family and career. “We are mourning and hoping to bring the community together,” Zakhil said as quoted by KOIN 6 News.
The crash, which claimed the lives of all three occupants, resulted in downed power lines, a power outage, and a small brush fire on Hoffman Road. The plane was en route from McMinnville to Independence State Airport in heavy fog when the incident occurred. No other passengers or the plane owner were on board.
A statement from Salem For Refugees revealed that all three men were part of a pilot training program and had resettled in Salem in Spring 2022. The program, sponsored by Salem For Refugees and funded by Willamette Workforce Partnership, aimed to provide opportunities for resettled individuals.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are now leading the investigation into the crash, and as of now, the cause has not been determined.