Turkish cargo plane crashes in Kyrgyzstan killing dozens

A Turkish plane flying from Hong Kong to Turkey via Kyrgyz capital Bishkek has crashed killing all four crew members and at least 33 people on the ground, officials say.

The early morning crash occurred as a Boeing 747 aircraft operated by ACT Airlines attempted to land in heavy fog at Manas airport, 25km (15 miles) north of Bishkek. The plane hit a nearby village, destroying at least 15 buildings and killing dozens of villagers, including children.

Pictures show the devastating impact of the crash, as the plane ploughed through multiple buildings scattering debris everywhere. Hundreds of volunteers have flocked to the site to help the Kyrgyz army and emergency services search for survivors.

The plane came down at around 7.30am local time. Although weather conditions were bad, the authorities claimed other aircraft had landed at the airport without incident this morning.

Kyrgyz_village_air-crash_wheel_16Jan17Kyrgyzstan Deputy PM Muhammetkaly Abulgaziev said on state TV: “According to preliminary information, the plane crashed due to a pilot error.”

Following the disaster, Manas airport was closed and state officials announced a day of mourning in Kyrgyzstan.

Prime Minister Sooronbai Jeenbekov visited the crash scene earlier today, while President Almazbek Atambayev cancelled a visit to China, Kyrgyz media said.


Main picture: Rescue teams are seen at the crash site of a Turkish cargo jet near Kyrgyzstan’s Manas airport outside Bishkek, January 16, 2017.  REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY