A plane carrying almost 100 people has crashed near Almaty airport in Kazakhstan, killing a minimum of 12. 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 location, which was cordoned off, seemed 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 within 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 location said Kruglova was traveling from Almaty to the capital, Nur-Sultan, to celebrate the New Year holiday together with her parents.
“Dana Kruglova was a true journalist,” the site’s editor, Mikhail Dorofeyev, said during a post. “Dana was honest, brave and objective at an equivalent time. this is often 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 during 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 appeared like control over the plane was lost,” he said.
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev pledged to supply families of the victims with compensation and tweeted that those responsible “will be severely punished following the law”.
Tokayev also said a government commission had been found out to research the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.
The Bek Air flight took off from Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city, at 7.22 am civil time.
Kazakhstan’s civil aviation committee said during a statement the aircraft “lost altitude during takeoff and broke through a concrete fence” before hitting a little building.
Almaty health authorities initially put the price from the crash at 15 or more but later revised the figure right down to 12.
The committee said 66 people had been taken to hospital. The Almaty mayor’s office said a minimum of 22 of the injured were in critical condition. Officials put out a involve blood donations to assist the survivors.
A Reuters reporter traveling to the airport said there was thick fog within the area. Flightradar24 said at the time of takeoff there was fog and therefore the air temperature was -9C, with little or no wind.
Bek Air operates a fleet of Fokker 100 jets. The aviation committee said it had been suspending all flights of that sort of aircraft pending an investigation.
The government said the crashed plane was inbuilt 1996 and its most up-to-date flight certificate was issued in May 2019.
Kazakhstan’s interior ministry said it had been investigating a possible breach of flight operations and safety rules.