A plane carrying 93 passengers and five crew members has crashed near Almaty in southeastern Kazakhstan. A rescue operation is underway after initial reports indicate there are survivors.
A plane with almost 100 people on board crashed on Friday morning in southeastern Kazakhstan, officials said.The Kazakh carrier Bek Air jet was heading to Nur-Sultan — formerly known as Astana — the nation's capital city.
Carrying 93 passengers and five crew. the Fokker 100 took off from Almaty International Airport at 7:05 a.m local time (0105 UTC) and lost altitude a few minutes later.The death toll so far stands at 14 people and is expected to rise.
At least 35 people have been recorded injured, the Almaty city government said in a statement sent via messaging app Telegram.The statement added that a further 22 patients are being treated in hospital and were in a "serious condition."
Plane hit a building
After the plane lost altitude, it broke through a concrete fence and hit a two-story building, Kazakhstan's Civil Aviation Committee said in a statement.Photographs from the site published by media showed the jet torn into two parts.
No fire broke out on board and emergency services immediately began working at the site, said a statement posted on the airport's Almaty International Airport Facebook page.
Rescue workers could be seen reaching into the windows of the shattered cockpit, as scores of emergency staff gathered at the site.
'Terrifying sound' heard
A survivor told news website Tengrinews 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.
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev tweeted his condolences to the victims and their families and said: "Those responsible will face tough punishment in accordance with the law."
The Kazakh aviation committee has said it is suspending all Fokker 100 jets pending an investigation.
In March, a Bek Air Fokker-100 plane with 116 passengers made an emergency landing at the capital's international airport after its landing gear failed to deploy. None of the passengers or five-member crew were injured.mm, kmm/kl (AP,Reuters)