/Kazakhstan: 15 killed as Bek Air flight crashes near Almaty airport

Kazakhstan: 15 killed as Bek Air flight crashes near Almaty airport

A plane carrying almost 100 people has crashed near Almaty airport in Kazakhstan, killing at least 15.

Almaty airport said on Friday morning that survivors and emergency workers were on the scene in Almerek village, just beyond the end of the runway. Footage from the site, which was cordoned off, appeared to show the Fokker 100 plane had hit a building.

The plane, flight number Z92100, was carrying 93 passengers and five crew. Emergency services searched through the rubble in the immediate aftermath of the crash.

Kazakhstan has declared a national day of mourning on Saturday for the victims of the crash.

Among those killed was Dana Kruglova, a 35-year-old editor for the Informburo.kz website. In a post, the site said Kruglova was travelling from Almaty to the capital, Nur-Sultan, to celebrate the New Year holiday with her parents.

“Dana Kruglova was a real journalist,” the site’s editor, Mikhail Dorofeyev, said in a post. “Dana was honest, brave and objective at the same time. This is a terrible loss for all of us.”

A survivor told the news website Tengrinews she heard a “terrifying sound” before the plane started losing altitude.

“The plane was flying with a tilt. Everything was like in a movie: screaming, shouting, people crying,” she said.

AFP news agency

#UPDATE Nine people died when a plane with 100 people on board crashed shortly after takeoff from Almaty airport in Kazakhstanhttps://t.co/H4HCvzDYNS pic.twitter.com/FAL7iMEEYL

December 27, 2019

Another survivor, Aslan Nazaraliyev, a businessman, told the Vremya newspaper the plane started shaking while gaining altitude about two minutes after takeoff.

“At some point we started falling, not vertically, but at an angle. It seemed like control over the plane was lost,” he said.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev pledged to provide families of the victims with compensation and tweeted that those responsible “will be severely punished in accordance with the law”.

Tokayev also said a government commission had been set up to investigate the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.

The Bek Air flight took off from Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city, at 7.22am local time.

Kazakhstan’s civil aviation committee said in a statement the aircraft “lost altitude during takeoff and broke through a concrete fence” before hitting a small building.

The committee said 15 people were killed and 66 people had been taken to hospital. The Almaty mayor’s office said at least 22 of the injured were in critical condition. Officials put out a call for blood donations to help the survivors.

МИА Казинформ

Самолет упал близ Алматы: есть выжившие pic.twitter.com/hQEftPeTRs

December 27, 2019

A Reuters reporter travelling to the airport said there was thick fog in the area. Flightradar24 said at the time of takeoff there was fog and the air temperature was -9C, with very little wind.

Bek Air operates a fleet of Fokker 100 jets. The aviation committee said it was suspending all flights of that type of aircraft pending an investigation.

The government said the crashed plane was built in 1996 and its most recent flight certificate was issued in May 2019.

Kazakhstan’s interior ministry said it was investigating a possible breach of flight operations and safety rules.

Original Source