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At Least 12 Dead In Kazakh Plane Crash Near Almaty


Kazakh Plane Crashes After Takeoff From Almaty
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ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- A Kazakh passenger plane with 93 travelers and five crew on board crashed after takeoff from Almaty airport early on December 27, killing at least 12 people.

Officials said 66 other people aboard the Bek Air flight, which was bound for the capital, Nur-Sultan, had been taken to local hospitals.

Forty-nine of them remained hospitalized, including 18 in serious condition.

Kazakh President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev has declared December 28 a national day of mourning for the crash victims.

Toqaev announced at an extraordinary session of the government that the families of individuals killed in the crash would receive financial support of 4 million tenges ($10,400) each.

Aviation authorities said the aircraft "lost altitude during takeoff and broke through a concrete fence" before hitting a two-story building. The building was said to have been empty at the time of the crash.

A deputy prime minister, Roman Sklyar, later said the tail section appeared to have struck the runway twice on takeoff before the plane veered off course and struck the wall and building.

"The plane broke into three parts," Sklyar said. He added that the flight recorders had been located and handed over to investigators.

Bek Air operates a fleet of Fokker 100 jets.

The Fokker 100 plane involved in the crash was built in 1996 and its most recent flight certificate was issued in May 2019, officials said.

All Bek Air and Fokker 100 flights have been suspended indefinitely as the investigation into the tragedy continues.

A Reuters reporter at the airport said heavy fog was covering the immediate area.

An Almaty blood bank said hundreds of people had already donated blood and hundreds more were volunteering blood to help treat the injured.

Two Ukrainians, a Chinese national, and a Kyrgyz national were on the passenger list, however their names were not on the list of passengers reported killed in the crash.

All the other passengers and crew were thought to be Kazakh nationals.

"A Bek Air plane en route from Almaty to Nur-Sultan, Flight 2100, departed at 7:05 a.m. [0105 GMT/UTC] on time and then disappeared from the radar. Ninety-five passengers and five crew members were on board," the airport said on its Facebook page.

"The Bek Air plane fell outside the airport. There are survivors. Emergency services are working at the site," it added. Nearly 1,000 people are involved in the rescue operation, authorities said.

Tengrinews, a local news website, quoted a survivor as saying she heard a "terrifying sound" before the plane started losing altitude.

"The plane was flying with a tilt. Everything was like in a movie: screaming, shouting, people crying," she said.

The crash site, in an area called Almerek just beyond the end of the runway, was cordoned off.

The maker of the Fokker filed for bankruptcy in 1996 and production of the plane was halted in 1997.

"Those responsible will face tough punishment in accordance with the law," Toqaev tweeted, while expressing condolences to the victims and their families.

With reporting by AP, Reuters,, Kazinform, and TASS
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