At least 15 people died as a plane carrying 100 crashed in the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan on Friday morning, AFP reported. Of these, 14 died during the crash, and a woman died at a hospital later, Tleukhan Abildayev, the head of Almaty’s health service said. The Bek Air aircraft had 95 passengers and five crew members on board.
As many as 65 passengers were injured, and 50 of them were hospitalised, Abildayev said. Of those hospitalised, 12 were in an extremely serious condition, Abildayev added.
The Kazakhstan interior ministry said six children were among the dead and nine were injured. Almaty airport authorities said that personnel from emergency services were working to rescue the survivors.
The Fokker 100 Bek Air plane disappeared from the radar minutes after it took off from Almaty airport at 7.05 am local time (6.35 am Indian Standard Time) on its way to the Capital, Nur-Sultan.
The plane “lost altitude during takeoff and broke through a concrete fence”, crashing into a two-storey building, the Kazakhstan Civil Aviation Committee said in a statement. A special commission will be set up to ascertain the cause of the crash.
A video released by Kazakhstan’s emergencies committee showed the plane split into pieces, with its nose crushed into a partially collapsed house.
Kazakhstan President Qasym-Jomart Toqayev expressed “deep condolences” to the victims’ relatives. Tokayev pledged to provide families of the victims with compensation, and said in a tweet that those responsible for the crash will be “severely punished in accordance with the law”.
The plane was 23 years old and had passed safety checks in May, government authorities said. The industry ministry said that all Fokker 100 aircraft will be grounded until the cause of the accident is ascertained.
On 29 January 2013, a passenger plane travelling from Kokshetau came down near Almaty, killing 20 people. A month before that, 27 people were killed as a military plane crashed in the south of the country.