Passenger plane crashes in Kazakhstan

Passenger plane crashes in Kazakhstan | AFP

Onboard there were 93 passengers and 5 crew members

The plane with 93 passengers and 5 crew members on board crashed near Almaty on Friday, officials from the local airport said. At least 15 people died in the crash, according to aviation authorities..

Emergency services are working at the scene. The Fokker 100 was bound for the capital of the country, Nursultan. At 7.22 local time, he «began to lose altitude during takeoff and broke through a concrete barrier», then crashed into a two-story building, according to the Civil Aviation Committee.

As one survivor told the news site Tengrinews, she heard «terrible sound», after which the plane began to lose altitude: «The plane flew, banked. Everything was like in a movie: scream, oh, people cry».

Another passenger, businessman Aslan Nazarliev, told the newspaper «Time», that about two minutes after takeoff, the plane began to shake. «At some point, we began to fall, but not vertically, but at an angle. It seemed that control of the plane was lost», – he told.

At least 15 people died, 66 were hospitalized, and some are in serious condition, according to the mayor’s office of Almaty. The plane took off before dawn. According to a Reuters journalist, there was a thick fog in the airport area at this time..

The village of Almerek, where the plane crashed, was cordoned off by law enforcement officers.

The photographs from the scene show how the plane, which has fallen into two parts, lies near a dilapidated building..

Kazakhstani company Bek Air, which has a fleet of Fokker 100 airliners, has not yet commented. Possible causes of the disaster have not yet been named. The Aviation Committee said it will suspend all flights of this type of aircraft during the investigation..

Almaty airport continues to operate, and other planes take off.

Passenger plane crashes in Kazakhstan

These are medium sized aircraft with twin turbofan engines. The company that made the Fokker 100 went bankrupt in 1996 and the model was discontinued the following year..

The crashed plane was produced in 1996 and received its last airworthiness certificate in May 2019, authorities said. Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan says it is investigating possible violation of flight safety rules.

«All perpetrators will be severely punished in accordance with the law», – wrote in «Twitter» President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, expressing condolences to the families of the victims.

Tokayev declared 28 December a day of national mourning and appointed Prime Minister Askar Mamin as head of the commission to investigate the disaster.

Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Roman Sklyar said that the cause of the crash could be a technical malfunction or pilot error.

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