Kazakh plane crash kills at least 12 people
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.