Turkish cargo jet crash kills 37 in Kyrgyzstan

Turkish cargo jet crash kills 37 in Kyrgyzstan
The Turkish Boeing 747 crashed just outside the Manas airport killing people in the residential area adjacent to the airport as well as those on the plane.
2 min read
16 January, 2017
The plane crashed after attempting to land in thick fog [Getty]
A Turkish cargo plane crashed into a village near Kyrgyzstan's main airport on Monday, killing at least 37 people and destroying houses after attempting to land in thick fog.

A massive section of the aircraft's tail billowed smoke as rescuers worked in the village of Dacha-Suu, home to the majority of the dead, a spokesman for the country's emergency services, Muhammed Svarov told AFP.

Crushed cars, shattered homes and chunks of burnt plane wreckage littered the village, which was hit by the plane at around 7:30 am local time (0130 GMT), as many residents were still at home.

At least four pilots on the flight, which was travelling from Hong Kong to Istanbul via Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek, were among the dead, the emergency services ministry said, with one pilot's body yet to be found.

ACT Airlines, a Turkish cargo airline, said in a statement that the plane involved in the crash belonged to it. Kyrgyz authorities earlier on Monday had stated that the aircraft belonged to Turkish Airlines, a claim the company denied.

ACT Airlines said it was "deeply saddened" by the accident and noted that "the cause of the accident is unknown."

Around 43 houses were damaged by the crash, according to the emergency services ministry.

The country's Manas airport has been closed and flights cancelled until evening at the earliest, airport authorities said.

Prime Minister Sooronbai Jeenbekov was heading a specially-appointed government commission to probe the crash and the country's state prosecutor also opened an investigation.

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev cancelled his visit to China to return to Bishkek, according to Kyrgyz media.

Authorities said the country will observe a day of mourning on Tuesday.