At least 12 passengers were killed and nearly 60 more were injured after a plane crashed in Kazakhstan shortly after takeoff Friday.
The Bek Air flight on a Fokker-100 jet lost altitude after taking off from Almaty (ALA), crashing into a concrete wall and eventually colliding with a building, according to CBS News. Bek Air is a Kazakh low-cost airline that flies exclusively within Kazakhstan, a country with a spotty aviation safety record.
The plane was bound for Nur-Sultan (TSE), the Kazakh capital. The cause of the crash is unclear. Local authorities believe it was caused by either pilot error or technical failure.
The pilot and several passengers died at the scene, but the death toll from the crash may continue climbing. Fifty-four passengers were taken to hospitals. At least 10 injured passengers were in critical condition.
Bek Air’s flights have been suspended in Kazakhstan, as have all flights on the Fokker-100. Kazakhstan’s Presidnt Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said the country will set up a commission to investigate the crash.
It’s the first fatal crash in Kazakhstan since 2013, when a SCAT Airlines plane crash killed all 21 passengers, the Washington Post reports. Nearly all Kazakh airlines were banned from entering European Union airspace in 2009. The ban was lifted in 2016.
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