Plane with 100 people on board crashes near Kazakhstan’s Almaty airport

A plane carrying 100 people on board crashed in Kazakhstan’s Almaty airport after it lost altitude, according to news agency Reuters.

Initial reports said at least nine people were dead but the number has now been updated to at least 12 dead, confirmed aviation authorities in the Central Asian nation.

The Bek Air aircraft lost altitude and crashed into a two-storey building during take-off from Almaty international airport.

Initial reports said there were 95 passengers on the plane and five crew members. The number has been revised by authorities to 93 passengers and five crew members.

The emergency committee of the internal affairs ministry said the captain of the plane was among the 12 killed. Fifty others, including at least six children, were taken to nearby hospitals. According to Almaty airport, 17 of those are in “extremely serious condition.”

The emergency committee said also killed was editor of online publication Dana Kruglova who took the flight at the last minute to celebrate the New Year with her parents in Nur-Sultan, according to Informburo website.

“Dana Kruglova was a real journalist,” said editor-in-chief Mikhail Dorofeev in a statement.

“Her articles resonated … Dana was honest, courageous and objective at the same time. This is a terrible loss for all of us.”

FlightRadar tweeted a photo of the plane prior to the crash.

“Flight #Z92100 was performed by a 23 years old Fokker 100. Last photo of this aircraft in @JetPhotos database was taken in June 2018 and it looks like the aircraft has been repainted since that.”

In a statement, the Kazakhstan aviation committee said 40 ambulance crews were deployed to provide medical care.

There weren’t any reports of a fire after the crash.

According to the Aviation Safety Network, Bek Air was added to the European Union’s list of banned air carriers in 2009 but was removed from the list in December 2016.

The cause of the crash is being investigated and the aviation committee issued a statement saying as a precautionary measure all flights using the Fokker 100 aircraft are temporarily suspended. The Fokker 100 is a medium-sized twin-turbofan jet used mostly for short flights.

The Fokker 100 involved in this crash was 23 years old.

People in Almaty have been lining up to donate blood to the victims of the Bek Air crash.

Alberta Press staff

More to come

Updated Dec. 26, 9:23 p.m., Dec. 27 5:44 a.m.

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