A cargo aircraft on Monday trying to land in thick fog crashed right into a village close to Kyrgyzstan’s main airport and killed at the least 37 folks, with authorities blaming “pilot error.”
A large part of the plane’s tail billowed smoke as rescuers looked for victims among the wreckage in the village of Dacha-Suu, house to the majority of the dead.
“Based on the preliminary info, the airplane crashed due to a pilot error,” deputy prime minister Muhammetkaly Abulgaziev mentioned at a briefing broadcast on state tv.
A minimal of 37 folks, including the airplane’s 4 pilots, had been killed in the crash and the toll may rise, said a spokesman for the country’s emergency services, Muhammed Svarov.
The aircraft was trying a landing at the Manas airport in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek in thick fog.
Crushed vehicles, shattered properties and large chunks of burnt debris littered the village, which was hit by the airplane at around 7:30 am (0130 GMT), as many residents were still at home in bed.
“Our grandson said something was burning,” Tajikan, a Dacha Suu resident who recognized herself solely by her first name, informed a news agency.
“We heard a roar and (what felt) like an earthquake. Many people were sleeping, everything around was burning. One of many components of the plane fell on our neighbour’s home. She and her entire family died,” the pensioner said.
Zumriyat Rezakhanova, one other resident of Dacha-Suu, stated the plane fell “right on the houses” where residents had been sleeping.
“My sister’s house is badly damaged. Fortunately, she and her family survived,” Rezakhanova informed a news agency.
The flight was travelling from Hong Kong to Istanbul through Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek.
ACT Airways, a Turkish cargo airline, mentioned in a press release that its Boeing 747-400 was involved in the crash.
ACT Airways mentioned it was “deeply saddened” by the crash and noted that “the reason for the accident is unknown.”
Boeing, the airplane’s producer, meanwhile extended its “deepest condolences” over the crash and offered to help Kyrgyz authorities with the investigation.
Elmira Sheripova, a spokeswoman for the emergency services ministry, mentioned that 17 homes had been “fully destroyed” by the crashing airplane.
The country’s Manas airport has since opened despite air authorities initially saying that the airport would stay closed until the evening.
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, based on Kyrgyz media.