Accessibility links

Breaking News

At Least 12 Killed in Kazakhstan Plane Crash

In this handout photo provided by the Emergency Situations Ministry of the Republic of Kazakhstan, police and rescuers work on the side of a plane crash near Almaty International Airport, outside Almaty, Kazakhstan, Dec. 27, 2019.

An airliner with 98 people on board crashed in Kazakhstan shortly after takeoff early Friday, killing at least 12 and injuring 54 others, authorities said.

Kazakhstan's Civil Aviation Committee said in a statement the Bek Air plane hit a concrete fence and a two-story building after takeoff from Almaty International Airport.

Local authorities had earlier put the death toll at 15, but the Interior Ministry of the Central Asian nation later revised the figure downward, without giving an explanation.

Flight 2100, a Fokker-100 aircraft, was heading to the capital, Nur-Sultan, formerly known as Astana, when it lost attitude at 7:22 a.m. local time.

Authorities say all Bek Air flights in Kazakhstan were immediately suspended pending the investigation of the crash.

The manufacturer of the Fokker-100, a medium-sized, twin-turbofan jet airliner, went bankrupt in 1996 and production of the plane stopped the following year.

The cause of the crash was unclear, but the central Asian country's deputy prime minister, Roman Sklyar, said authorities were looking into pilot error or technical failure.

Upwards of 1,000 first responders were working at the crash site, which was covered in snow. Dozens of people showed up at a local blood bank to donate.

The government said it would pay families of the victims about $10,000 apiece.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered an inspection of all airlines in the country, along with the aviation infrastructure. Eighteen passenger airlines and four cargo carriers are registered in Kazakhstan.