Sunday, 31, May, 2020

At least 12 people were killed when a plane carrying 93 passengers and five crew members crashed shortly after takeoff near the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan on Friday morning.

The plane "lost altitude after takeoff and broke through a concrete fence," before colliding with a two-story building at approximately 7:22 a.m., local time, according to the Almaty airport authority.

Flight Z2100, a Fokker 100 aircraft operated by Kazakhstan-based carrier Bek Air, was scheduled to fly from Almaty, the country's largest city, to the capital Nur-Sultan.

The captain of the plane was among the 12 dead, the emergency committee of the internal affairs ministry announced. Fifty people, including at least six children, were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment with various degrees of injuries. The Almaty airport authority said at least 17 of those hospitalized were in an "extremely serious condition."

Earlier the news agency Kazinform reported that at 15 had been killed, but an Almaty healthcare department spokeswoman told Reuters that the higher figure was the result of confusion on the ground. The flight was carrying 93 passengers and five crew, according to preliminary data, the airport authority said, correcting an earlier statement that said 95 passengers and five crew were on board.

Data provided by Flightradar24 indicated the plane crashed 19 seconds after takeoff, approximately 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from the airport. Videos and images of the crash site near Kyzyl Tu village show the damaged plane broken into several parts, with the nose embedded in a small partially-collapsed house.

The cause of the incident was under investigation, the aviation committee said in a statement published online. As a precautionary measure, authorities said that all flights using the Fokker 100 aircraft would be temporarily suspended until the circumstances of the crash were made clear. The Fokker 100 is a medium sized twin-turbofan jet often used for short haul flights.

The Fokker 100 aircraft involved in the crash went into operation in 1996, according to the Kazakhstan Aviation Committee.

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