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At least 15 dead in Kazakhstan aircraft crash

The aircraft, with 100 people on board, hit a two-storey building soon after takeoff.

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, Friday, Dec. 27, 2019. Almaty International Airport said a Bek Air plane crashed Friday in Kazakhstan shortly after takeoff causing numerous deaths. The aircraft had 100 passengers and crew onboard when hit a concrete fence and a two-story building shortly after takeoff. ( Emergency Situations Ministry of the Republic of Kazakhstan photo via AP)
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, Friday, Dec. 27, 2019. Almaty International Airport said a Bek Air plane crashed Friday in Kazakhstan shortly after takeoff causing numerous deaths. The aircraft had 100 passengers and crew onboard when hit a concrete fence and a two-story building shortly after takeoff. ( Emergency Situations Ministry of the Republic of Kazakhstan photo via AP)

By AP Reporters

A Kazakhstan plane with 98 people aboard crashed soon after takeoff early on Friday morning, killing at least 15 people, officials in Almaty said.

At least 66 others survived with injuries, with 50 of them sent to hospital.

The Bek Air aircraft lost altitude soon after takeoff at 7:22am local time before crashing into a concrete fence and a two-story building, the airport said.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the airport said there was no fire and a rescue operation got underway immediately following the crash.

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Police stand guard as rescuers assist on the site of the crash (Vladimir Tretyakov/AP)

Around 1,000 people were working at the snow-covered site of the crash. The weather in Almaty was clear, with mild sub-zero temperature that is common at this time of the year.

Footage showed the front of the broken-up fuselage which had rammed a house, and the rear of the plane which was lying in a field next to the airport.

The plane was flying to Nur-Sultan, the country’s capital formerly known as Astana.

The aircraft was identified as a Fokker-100, a medium-sized, twin-turbofan jet airliner. The company manufacturing the aircraft went bankrupt in 1996 and the production of the Fokker-100 stopped the following year.

All Bek Air and Fokker-100 flights in Kazakhstan have been suspended pending the investigation of the crash, the country’s aviation authorities said.

PA

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