Bishkek: At least 37 people were killed when a cargo plane belonging to Turkish MyCargo Airlines crashed in a residential neighbourhood near Kyrgyzstans capital Bishkek, according to the emergency ministry.
Initially, reports said the aircraft was of Turkish Airlines but it denied it in a statement saying : “A cargo flight with TC-MCL registration number, operated by ACT Airlines, departed from Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) to Bishkek Manas International Airport (FRU) and had an accident near Bishkek… Neither the aircraft nor the crew are members of Turkish Airlines.”
Among those killed were four crew members and one of the pilots, Kyrgyz Health Ministry spokeswoman Elena Bayalinova said.
The plane was enroute from Hong Kong to Istanbul, Sputnik News Agency reported.
It crashed in the village of Dacha-Suu, near the capital city’s Manas airport, destroying at least 32 homes.
Eight people were hospitalised, including six children.
Firefighters are at the scene, the ministry added, as cited by TASS.
All flights to and from Kyrgyzstan’s Manas airport have been suspended until further notice, RT News reported.
Kyrgyz Prime Minsiter Sooronbay Jeenbekov has arrived at the crash site, the government’s press service confirmed.
Bishkek resident Zumriyat Rezahanova told RT News that her cousin’s house was the first to be hit by the plane.
“Her house was the first. The roof was blown away,” said Rezahanova, adding that the local residents heard a strong boom, and those who were in the house thought it was an earthquake.