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12 Dead After Plane Smashes Into Building

Kazakhstan plane was carrying 98 people
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2019 1:02 AM CST
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In this handout photo provided by the Emergency Situations Ministry of the Republic of Kazakhstan, police and rescuers work at the site of a plane crash near Almaty International Airport, outside Almaty, Kazakhstan, Friday, Dec. 27, 2019. ff.   (Emergency Situations Ministry of the Republic of Kazakhstan photo via AP)
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(Newser) – At least 12 people were killed when a passenger jet carrying 98 people slammed into a building shortly after taking off from an airport in Kazakhstan, authorities say. The Bek Air flight was en route from Almaty, the country's largest city, to the capital, Nur-Sultan, the BBC reports. Kazakhstan's interior ministry says there were 93 passengers—85 adults, five children, and three infants—and five crew members on board. At least 50 injured survivors were hospitalized after the crash Friday morning. Almaty International Airport says the Fokker-100 aircraft hit a concrete fence and a two-story building, reports the AP. The airport says the crash was not followed by a fire. Authorities initially said the death toll was 15 but it was later revised downward.

A survivor told local media that she heard a "terrifying" sound before the crash, the Guardian reports. "The plane was flying with a tilt. Everything was like in a movie: screaming, shouting, people crying," the woman said. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said families of victims would be compensated and anybody found to be responsible for the crash "will be severely punished in accordance with the law." Authorities say pilot error or technical failures could have caused the crash. It's not clear how old the aircraft was, but the last Fokker-100s were produced in 1997. Authorities say all Bek Air and Fokker-100 flights in the country have been suspended. (Read more Kazakhstan stories.)

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