Shocking video expected to be assessed in Afghanistan plane crash investigation, company says

(CBS News) Chilling video appears to document a disaster as it happened. A cargo plane crashed near an Air Force base in Afghanistan Monday. Seven Americans were killed.

Officials say the plane went down just after takeoff. The tragedy may have been captured on video by a car driving by.

Dramatic video appears to show 747 crash in Afghanistan

The dashboard-mounted camera appears to have captured some disturbing video of the crash. It seems to show the plane -- a Boeing 747 -- stall and then fall out of the sky soon after takeoff from the main American supply base in Afghanistan. This video isn't authenticated, although it appears to have been taken at the time of the crash.

The video appears to show the civilian cargo plane attempting to take off from the Bagram Air Base, about 40 miles north of Kabul. As it tries to climb, the plane's nose seems to pitch upward at a steep angle, the aircraft stalls and suddenly begins to lose altitude, crashing within the base's perimeter.

All seven crew members onboard were killed. Six of the victims were from Michigan and one was from Kentucky. The plane -- a cargo version of the 747 -- was bound for Dubai, carrying vehicles and supplies.

Special Section: The U.S. in Afghanistan

CBS News aviation and safety expert Capt. Chesley Sullenberger said once the plane went into its death stall there was nothing the pilots could have done to prevent the crash.

Sullenberger said, "Certainly with the nose of the airplane at a very high angle and the speed decreasing that puts you at risk for a stall of the wing, which at some point it becomes unrecoverable if you're too close to the ground."

At first, the Taliban claimed responsibility for downing the aircraft, but a NATO spokesperson said the claims were false and that there was no sign of an anti-aircraft missile being fired at the plane or any other type of insurgent activity time of the crash.

The accident is now being investigated by Afghan authorities with the help of the National Transportation Safety Board.

National Airlines, the Orlando, Fla.-based company that operated the aircraft, could not verify the authenticity of the video, but in a statement said, "The NTSB is charged with investigating the crash and determining cause, and we anticipate the NTSB will study the video as part of that process."

Mark Rosenker, a CBS News national transportation safety expert, said, "Having video of an accident like this is going to be extremely helpful, particularly when they are able to pair it up with the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder. When you combine all of these things, they will understand exactly what happened."

Planes flying out of Bagram normally take off at more extreme angles than normal in order to gain altitude before they leave the relative safety of the airspace over the base, CBS News' Mark Phillips reported on "CBS This Morning." One theory is that the plane may have lost power during its climb or that its cargo may have shifted to the rear and the pilots didn't have enough airspeed or altitude to recover.

Watch Mark Phillips' full report above.

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