A passenger jet carrying at least 20 people crashed today near Kazakhstan's principal city, Almaty, killing all on board, the airline and officials say. The SCAT airline said the plane carried 15 passengers and five crew. The Kazakh prosecutor-general's office said 21 people were aboard. The airline said the pilot was making a second approach through heavy fog when the plane crashed about three miles from the airport. It is Kazakhstan's second major aircraft accident recently.
Officials said the plane, a Bombardier CRJ200 two-engine regional jet flying in from the northern city of Kokshetau, disappeared from radar at around 1:13pm local time. Kazakhstan is opening a criminal investigation of the airline, and PM Serik Akhmetov ordered the creation of a state commission to investigate the crash. SCAT, which is based in Shymkent, is banned from flying within the European Union. Only one airline in Kazakhstan, state-owned Air Astana, is authorized to fly to the EU.