12 killed as plane crashes immediately after takeoff amid freezing temperatures
After crashing immediately upon takeoff, 12 were killed and over 50 were injured in Friday morning's tragedy near Almaty, Kazakhstan.
A plane carrying 93 passengers and five crew members crashed in frigid and foggy Almaty, Kazakhstan, early Friday morning, local time, killing at least 12 people.
The accident happened around 7:22 a.m. when the plane lost altitude shortly after takeoff, then crashed through a concrete barrier and into a two-story building, reported BNO News.
At least 12 people have been confirmed dead by officials, which is down from an earlier report of 15. Fifty people, including several children, were taken to nearby hospitals with various injuries -- 17 of those injured were described as being in an "extremely serious condition."
Weather observations from Almaty International Airport reported visibility below one mile (1.6 km) at the time of the crash due to foggy conditions. A Reuters reporter traveling to the airport also reported thick fog in the area.
"Temperatures were in the lower teens F (minus 10-12 C) at the time of the accident, so if the plane was not properly deiced, this could have been a factor," AccuWeather Meteorologist Renee Duff said.
Preliminary investigation results concluded that the aircraft's tail hit the runway twice prior to takeoff, indicating the plane was struggling to get off the ground, according to The Associated Press (AP).
“The plane tilted to the left, then to the right, then it started shaking while still trying to gain altitude,” Aslan Nazaraliyev, who survived the crash, told Reuters. Nazaraliyev later told the AP that the plane's wings were covered with ice when passengers were deplaning, a sign that the plane may not have been properly deiced before takeoff. However, government officials say the plane underwent proper deicing.
Another survivor told Tengrinews that the sound she heard prior to the plane crash was "terrifying."
“The plane was flying at a tilt. Everything was like in a movie: screaming, shouting, people crying,” she said.
The plane, operated by Bek Air, was on its way from Almaty to the country's capital of Nur-Sultan when the tragedy occurred.