The Boeing 747 crashed Monday just after takeoff from Bagram Air Base near Kabul. National Air Cargo, which operated the plane, said the cargo onboard included vehicles and routine, general cargo. The flight was destined for Dubai.
The Taliban immediately claimed credit for the take down, but NATO said the claims were false, and there was no sign of insurgent activity in the area at the time of the crash.
Bill Hassler, who identified his brother, Brad, as one of the victims, said he believes the plane may have crashed because the load shifted, causing the plane to stall while on takeoff.
I love my brother more than anything," Hassler said. "If I could trade places with him so that he could be with his family, I would in a heartbeat."
Others killed in the crash were 33-year-old Jamie Brokaw and Michael Sheets, who was engaged to be married this year.
The Afghanistan Ministry of Transportation and Commercial Aviation is leading the investigation. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team of investigators to Afghanistan to assist.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.