At least 15 dead with scores in hospital after Kazakhstan aircraft crash

Sunday, 29 Dec, 2019

At least 14 people have been killed after a plane with 98 passengers and crew crashed in Kazakhstan, airport officials say.

The Fokker 100 plane was carrying 95 passengers - including eight children - as well as five crew, the interior ministry said.

Sputnik cited the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure, saying the aircraft lost altitude after takeoff and crashed into a two-story building.

Twelve people died after Bek Air flight No. Z2100 from Almaty to the capital crashed during take-off, 7:22 a.m., December 27, reported the Civil Aviation Committee press service.

In a statement published on social media, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev expressed his condolences to the friends and families of those killed in the crash.

No explanation for the crash has been given by the authorities, although the area was thick with fog when the plane went down.

Authorities initially put the death toll at 15 or more but later revised the figure to 12.

Residents of Almaty were continuing to bring flowers and candles to a makeshift memorial near the airport entrance and 49 people injured in the crash were still hospitalized. "The plane continued to gain altitude, shaking quite severely, and then went down", Aslan Nazaraliyev, one of the passengers who survived the crash, told The Associated Press by phone. "This will be established by a special commission with the participation of specialists from the International Aviation Committee", said Deputy Prime Minister Roman Sklyar at a briefing at the airport, reported inform.kz.

The plane crashed in the city of Almaty, near the airport, and was heading for the capital, Nur-Sultan, Reuters reported.

Police and rescuers work on the side of a plane crash near Almaty International Airport, outside Almaty, Kazakhstan.

In Almaty, residents flooded a local blood donation center. Fox News identified the plane as a "Fokker-100, a medium-sized, twin-turbofan jet airliner". Its fleet is made up of seven Fokker-100 aircraft.

"The (plane) was 23 years old, but still a rugged airplane and has a very good service record", Geoffrey Thomas, editor in chief of aviation website airlineratings.com, told CNN. The ban was lifted in 2016.