Kazakh plane crash kills at least 12 peo­ple

Evening Times - - THE WORLD TODAY -

A KAZAKH plane with 98 peo­ple aboard has crashed shortly af­ter take-off, killing at least 12 peo­ple.

There were 54 peo­ple taken to hos­pi­tal with in­juries, at least 10 of them in crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

Lo­cal au­thor­i­ties had ear­lier put the death toll at 15, but the In­te­rior Min­istry of the Cen­tral Asian na­tion later re­vised the fig­ure down­ward.

The cause of the crash was un­clear, but au­thor­i­ties are looking at two pos­si­ble sce­nar­ios – pi­lot er­ror and tech­ni­cal fail­ure, Kazakhstan’s deputy prime min­is­ter Ro­man Skl­yar said.

The Bek Air air­craft hit a con­crete fence and a two-storey build­ing af­ter take-off from Almaty In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

Skl­yar said the plane’s tail hit the run­way twice dur­ing take-off, in­di­cat­ing that it strug­gled to take off.

One sur­vivor said that the plane started shak­ing less than two min­utes af­ter take-off.

“At first the left wing jolted re­ally hard, then the right. The plane con­tin­ued to gain al­ti­tude, shak­ing quite se­verely, and then went down,” As­lan Nazar­aliyev, one of the pas­sen­gers who sur­vived the crash said.

Around 1000 peo­ple were work­ing at the snow-covered site of the crash. The weather in Almaty was clear, with mild sub-zero tem­per­a­tures.

Footage showed the front of the bro­ken-up fuse­lage rammed a house, and the rear of the plane ly­ing in the field next to the air­port.

It was iden­ti­fied as a Fokker-100, a medium-sized, twin-tur­bo­fan jet air­liner. The com­pany man­u­fac­tur­ing the air­craft went bank­rupt in 1996 and the pro­duc­tion of the Fokker-100 stopped the fol­low­ing year. All Bek Air and Fokker-100 flights in Kazakhstan have been sus­pended pend­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the crash, au­thor­i­ties said.

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