Cargo plane crash kills at least 37 in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz officials say the plane struck 15 buildings in a village, near the capital city Bishkek, when it crashed on its way from Hong Kong to Istanbul. Authorities report that the plane's black box has been found.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Plane debris is seen at the crash site of a cargo jet near Kyrgyzstan's Manas airport outside Bishkek, January 16, 2017.

An ACT Airlines cargo jet crashed near Kyrgyzstan's Manas airport on Monday, killing at least 37 people, most of them residents of a village struck by the Boeing 747 as it tried to land in dense fog, Kyrgyz officials said.

According to the airport administration, the plane was supposed to make a stopover at Manas, near the capital city Bishkek, on its way from Hong Kong to Istanbul. It crashed when trying to land in poor visibility at 7:31 am (01:31 GMT).

The plane ploughed for a few hundred metres (yards) through the village, shattering into pieces and damaging some 15 buildings.

TRT World's Kilmeny Duchardt has more details.

Kyrgyzstan's emergencies ministry put the initial death toll at 37. Authorities said the plane's black box had been found.

Kyrgyzstan's transport ministry said there were five people on board. The Kyrgyz government initially identified the plane as a Turkish Airlines Boeing 747-400, but the company said the plane belonged to Turkish firm, ACT Airlines.

"Our condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives in the tragic incident involving an ACT Airlines aircraft in Kyrgyzstan," Turkish Airlines said on its Twitter account.


Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone with Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambayev to express his condolences for the loss of life.

According to the ACT website, the company was established in 2004 by Turkish aviation veterans Yavuz Cizmeci and Daglar Cizmeci. In February 2008, a 21 percent equity stake was acquired by Manara Investments Ltd., which is sponsored by four leading Saudi business groups.

ACT Boeing 747 cargo plane.

TRTWorld and agencies