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The crash of U.S. and German military transport planes that killed 33 people off the coast of Africa might have been prevented if anti-collision devices been in use, Air Force officials said.

Disregarded flight procedures and poor communications also contributed to the collision of an Air Force C-141 and the German Tupolev 154, Air Force officials said.

The Air Force issued a statement today summarizing an investigation board's conclusions on the collision last September that killed nine people on the American plane and 24 people on the German aircraft.

The investigation board found that the German plane was cruising at the wrong altitude, according to the statement, which also cited problems with ground communications and air traffic control.

Senior Pentagon officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said the crash may have been prevented had adequate anti-collision devices been in use.

Defense Secretary William S. Cohen announced Monday that the Air Force was moving to put anti-collision devices on many of its aircraft.

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