A plane carrying almost 100 people has crashed near Almaty airport, in Kazakhstan, killing at least 15 people.
On Friday morning Almaty airport said there were survivors and emergency workers were on site. Footage from the scene of the accident appeared to show the Fokker 100 plane had collided with a building.
The plane, flight number Z92100, was carrying 93 passengers and five crew. Emergency services combed through the rubble in the immediate aftermath of the crash.
The crash site in Almerek village – just beyond the end of the runway – was cordoned off.
A survivor told 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.
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 that a government commission had been set up to investigate the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.
The Bek Air flight was en route from Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city, to the country’s capital of Nursultan.
It took off 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. Almaty mayor’s office said at least 22 of the injured were in grave condition.
A Reuters reporter travelling to the airport said there was thick fog in the area. Flight Radar 24 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 produced 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.