At least 12 people were killed on Friday, when a Fokker 100 aircraft operated by Kazakhstan-based carrier Bek Air lost altitude after takeoff, broke through a concrete fence and collided with a nearby building. The captain of the aircraft was among the 12 dead, with 50 others, including six children, taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for injuries of varying severity. At least 17 of those 50 are currently listed in “extremely serious condition.”
Bek Air #Z92100 crashed shortly after takeoff from Almaty this morning. Preliminary ADS-B data is available at https://t.co/mZRiDsJVkx. We are currently retrieving and processing granular ADS-B data for this flight. pic.twitter.com/n0G5sujqiM
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) December 27, 2019
The crash took place at 7:22 a.m. local time, as the Fokker 100 was departing for a routine flight from Almaty to the nation’s capital Nur-Sultan with an on-board compliment of 93 passengers and five crew members. One of the crash survivors told local press outlets that she heard a “terrifying sound” before the plane crashed.
She went on to say that, “The plane was flying at a tilt. Everything was like in a movie: screaming, shouting, people crying.”
According to flight tracker data, the aircraft was only airborne for about 19 seconds, and covered a distance of a bit more than 3 miles before coming back down and breaking apart. Videos and images of the crash site show the aircraft in several pieces, though much of fuselage appears to be intact, which likely explains how so many passengers survived the crash. The nose of the aircraft can be seen embedded in a partially collapsed house.
“The (plane) was 23 years old, but still a rugged airplane and has a very good service record,” Geoffrey Thomas, editor in chief of aviation website airlineratings.com, told CNN. “Fokker built very good airplanes with a high degree of focus on structural integrity, which is why this airplane has not been broken up into more pieces.”
A passenger plane carrying nearly 100 people crashed near the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan after take-off, slamming into a house in an accident that killed 12 people and injured dozens https://t.co/kh88ow4PPC pic.twitter.com/lZYNXHUoym
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 27, 2019
According to reports, as many as 40 ambulances and crews responded to the crash. Images and videos from the scene show a mob of first responders working to get people out of the wreckage. In one video, an infant can be seen being carried by a firefighter out of the remains of the aircraft.
Authorities announced that all Bek Air flights, as well as all Fokker 100 flights managed by other carriers, have been suspended in Kazakhstan. The nation’s president has declared that Saturday (the first day following the fatal crash) will be a national day of mourning.