World

Thirty-seven Killed as Turkish Cargo Jet Crashes in Kyrgyz Republic

Plane debris is seen at the crash site of a Turkish cargo jet near Kyrgyzstan's Manas airport outside Bishkek, January 16, 2017. REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov

Plane debris is seen at the crash site of a Turkish cargo jet near Kyrgyz Republic’s Manas airport outside Bishkek. Credit: Reuters/Vladimir Pirogov

Bishkek: A Turkish cargo jet crashed near the Kyrgyz Republic’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 am.

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

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

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

“Our TC-MCL signed plane, flying on January 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.”