NUR-SULTAN -- Ice buildup has been identified as the most possible cause of a crash that killed 12 of the 98 passengers and crew aboard a Fokker 100 aircraft on a flight operated by Kazakh airline Bek Air in Kazakhstan last month.
Roman Sklyar, deputy prime minister of Kazakhstan, told reporters in Nur-Sultan on January 10 that a special government commission ruled out technical malfunction, human error, or the influence of other aircraft in the crash. Instead, the commission concluded that the most likely factor was an accumulation of ice on the plane's wings.
The plane crashed while trying to take off from the Almaty airport en route to Nur-Sultan on December 27.
"The plane was stationed at the airport in frigid weather for two days and ice built up on it, which most likely caused the accident," Sklyar said, adding that the investigation continues.
The Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development said earlier that the plane was unable to achieve significant altitude and crashed into a two-story building near the airport.
Sklyar said at the January 10 press conference that investigations had been launched into what he called “illegal permits" issued by local authorities in the Talghar district to build houses near the airport.
Four foreigners were aboard the plane, officials said -- two from Ukraine and one each from China and Kyrgyzstan -- while the rest were Kazakh. All four of the foreigners survived, Kazakh authorities said.