37 killed as Turkish plane crashes into homes in thick fog in Kyrgyzstan

Updated on Jan 16, 2017 09:26 PM IST

Four pilots also died in the crash, the health ministry said.

Plane debris is seen at the crash site of a Turkish cargo jet near Kyrgyzstan's Manas airport outside Bishkek.(Reuters)
Plane debris is seen at the crash site of a Turkish cargo jet near Kyrgyzstan's Manas airport outside Bishkek.(Reuters)
Bishkek | ByReuters

A Turkish cargo jet crashed near Kyrgyzstan’s Manas airport on Monday, killing at least 37 people, most of them residents of a village struck by the Boeing 747 as it tried to land in dense fog, Kyrgyz officials said.

According to the airport administration, the plane was supposed to make a stopover at Manas, near the capital city Bishkek, on its way from Hong Kong to Istanbul. It crashed when trying to land in poor visibility at 7:31 a.m. (0131 GMT).

The doomed plane ploughed for a few hundred metres (yards) through the village, shattering into pieces and damaging some 15 buildings.

Initial estimates put the death toll from the crash at 37, said Kyrgyzstan’s emergencies ministry.

Rescue teams are seen at the crash site of a Turkish cargo jet near Kyrgyzstan's Manas airport outside Bishkek. (Reuters)
Rescue teams are seen at the crash site of a Turkish cargo jet near Kyrgyzstan's Manas airport outside Bishkek. (Reuters)

Kyrgyz officials initially identified the Boeing 747-400 as belonging to Turkish Airlines, but Turkish cargo operator ACT Airlines said the jet was theirs.

Map locating Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, where a Turkish cargo plane crashed on Monday. (AFP)
Map locating Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, where a Turkish cargo plane crashed on Monday. (AFP)

“Our TC-MCL signed plane, flying on Jan. 16 from Hong Kong to Bishkek, crashed on landing at Bishkek at the end of the runway for an unknown reason,” ACT Airlines said in an emailed statement.

“More information will be disclosed concerning our four-person team when we get clear information.”

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