Update: The death toll has increased to 37 as per latest reports.
A major plane crash in the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan has left at least 32 people dead and several others injured, Russia Today reports. According to initial reports, the dead included several children who were on the ground at the time of the plane crash. The aircraft involved in the crash is believed to be a ACT Airlines Boeing 747 cargo plane that was scheduled to land at the Manas International Airport located in the capital city of Bishkek. At least one of the crew members is believed to have survived the crash. According to senior government officials, the aircraft was on its way from Hong Kong to Istanbul and was about to land at the Manas International Airport to refuel when the aircraft reportedly crashed into a residential area nearby.
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) January 16, 2017
The plane crash reportedly destroyed more than 15 homes in the neighborhood. Officials also added that it is too early to determine the cause of the crash. Initial reports put the number of children dead at six. The death toll, however, could rise as we get more information from the situation on the ground. Local residents say the area was covered in a thick blanket of fog when the plane crashed.
According to senior government officials, the aircraft was on its way from Hong Kong to Istanbul and was about to land at the Manas International Airport to refuel when the aircraft reportedly crashed into a residential area nearby. Firefighters and other emergency workers are still on the scene as we file this report. Efforts are currently on to put out the fire caused by the crash. Several images purported to be from the site of the plane crash have been posted on social media websites including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
We have embedded a few posts below.
— RT (@RT_com) January 16, 2017
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) January 16, 2017
— RT (@RT_com) January 16, 2017
Крушение самолета унесло 16 жизней, среди которых 6 – дети! Соболезнуем родным и близким погибших =( #Бишкек #Кыргызстан #Ош #Баткен #Нарын #Талас #ИссыкКуль #ИК #KG ДжалалАбад #Фото #Новости #Bishkek #Kyrgyzstan #Спутник #Sputnik #Сегодня #News #Мир
A photo posted by Sputnik Кыргызстан (@sputnik.kg) on
Several videos said to be from the crash site have also been posted to YouTube.
The Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan, Sooronbay Jeenbekov, has also arrived at the crash site. As previously mentioned, the area where the plane crashed early in the morning was covered in a thick blanket of fog, which could have contributed to the plane crashing into the residential area.
The manufacturer of the aircraft, Boeing offered condolences to the victims of the crash while adding that they would co-operate with the investigation.
Our condolences to all who lost loved ones in the Kyrgyzstan accident. Boeing stands ready assist in investigation. https://t.co/WFEevjwOFn
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) January 16, 2017
At this time, it remains unclear as to how many crew members were onboard the aircraft. At the time of publishing this article, all flights to and from Kyrgyzstan’s Manas airport have been suspended until further notice, local news outlets confirmed.
There have been several plane crashes over residential areas. The worst was an accident that occurred in 1997 when a Russian AN-124 aircraft, a large cargo plane crashed in a residential area near the city of Irkutsk in Siberia. The plane crashed shortly after it took off from a local airport. Seventy-two people were killed in this incident of which 49 people were on the ground. Another notable incident was the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 that crash landed into a residential area in Queens, New York. Two hundred sixty-five people died in the accident of which five people were on the ground.
[Featured image by Azamat Imanaliev/AP Images]