Bek Air flight Z92100 has crashed shortly after takeoff from Almaty Airport, Kazakhstan. The flight was heading to Nur-Sultan (formerly called Astana).
The flight to the country’s capital was operated by a 1996-built Fokker 100 aircraft, registered as UP-F1007. It abruptly lost altitude, hit a concrete wall and crashed into a building shortly after taking off from Almaty International Airport (IATA code: ALA), authorities say. Playback data for the plane from flight tracking site Flightradar24 ends east of the airport, at 7:21 am local time. The outside temperature was -12 degrees Celsius (10°F).
Initial reports confirm there are at least 12 fatalities, including the captain. An earlier statement mentioned 15 deaths. 67 occupants are confirmed to have survived the accident and many were brought to hospital, some critically injured. A total of 98 people were on board, consisting of 93 passengers and five crew, according to Almaty Airport. This Dutch-made aircraft type typically has a maximum capacity of around 110 passengers.
An investigation has been launched into the cause of this fatal crash. Kazakhstan’s Civil Aviation Administration has issued a grounding of Bek Air’s entire fleet, but may lift it again soon, depending on the outcome of that investigation.
Pictures and images posted on social media showed the aircraft and building severely damaged. However, the wings and engines apparently remained mostly intact.
Самолет упал близ Алматы: есть выжившие pic.twitter.com/hQEftPeTRs
— МИА Казинформ (@kazinformkz) December 27, 2019
Bek Air is a Kazakh regional airline that was founded in 2011. It operated a fleet of ten Fokker 100, and has ten Irkut MC-21 on order. The Russian-made jet is currently under development and due to enter commercial service in 2021.
Jakob Wert is an aviation journalist from Germany. He built up the website IFN.news and is the Editor-In-Chief of International Flight Network.