15 killed, dozens injured as plane crashes in Kazakhstan


Qureshi grieved over loss of lives

A Bek Air plane with 93 passengers and five crew members on board crashed near the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan on Friday shortly after taking off, killing at least 15 people, authorities in the Central Asian country said.
The Fokker 100 aircraft, heading for the capital, Nur-Sultan, on a pre-dawn flight, “lost altitude during takeoff and broke through a concrete fence” before hitting a two-storey building, Kazakhstan’s Civil Aviation Committee said in a statement. 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. At least 15 people were killed, and 22 have been hospitalised in grave condition, the Almaty mayor’s office said.
A Reuters reporter travelling to the airport soon after the crash said there was thick fog in the area. The crash site in Almerek village — just beyond the end of the runway — has been cordoned off. A Reuters reporter saw the plane torn into two parts next to a house half-demolished by the impact.
Kazakh carrier Bek Air, which operates a fleet of Fokker 100 jets, could not be immediately reached for comment. Authorities have not suggested any possible cause of the accident. The aviation committee said it was suspending all flights of that type of aircraft pending an investigation.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday expressed sorrow over loss of lives in a passenger aircraft crash in Kazakhstan. “In this hour of grief, the government and people of Pakistan stand with their Kazakh counterparts,” the Foreign Minister said in a condolence message following the incident.