By the Associated Press
MOSCOW — A Kazakhstan plane with 98 people aboard has crashed shortly after takeoff early Friday, killing at least 15 people, officials in Almaty said. At least 66 others survived with injuries, 50 of them hospitalized.
The Bek Air aircraft hit a concrete fence and a two-story building after takeoff from Almaty International Airport. It lost attitude at 7:22 a.m. (0122 GMT), the airport said.
In a statement on its Facebook page, the airport said there was no fire and a rescue operation got underway immediately following the crash.
Around 1,000 people were working at the snow-covered site of the crash. The weather in Almaty was clear, with mild sub-zero temperature that is common at this time of the year.
Footage showed the front of the broken-up fuselage rammed a house and the rear of the plane lying in the field next to the airport.
The plane was flying to Nur-Sultan, the country’s capital formerly known as Astana.
The aircraft was identified as a Fokker-100, a medium-sized, twin-turbofan jet airliner. The company manufacturing the aircraft went bankrupt in 1996 and the production of the Fokker-100 stopped the following year.
All Bek Air and Fokker-100 flights in Kazakhstan have been suspended pending the investigation of the crash, the country’s authorities said.