2017-01-16 09:49:00

Kyrgyzstan plane crash kills 37

(Vatican Radio)  The Health Ministry in Kyrgyzstan says a leased Turkish cargo plane has crashed in a residential area just outside the Central Asian country's main airport, killing some 37 people, most of them local villagers, as well as crew on board the aircraft. The Turkish Boeing 747 crash-landed just outside the Manas airport, south of the capital Bishkek.

Listen to Stefan Bos' report:

Residents rushed to the site where the cargo plane crashed. People carried away a distressed woman. Officials said Monday's crash killed more than a dozen residents here in the village where the plane crashed near Kyrgyzstan's main Manas airport. 

Others were killed aboard the cargo plane. Many are reported injured. Local emergency services are working on the scene between burning wreckage. Efforts are under way to extinguish fires caused by the crash.

Kyrgyzstan transport ministry reportedly said there were five people on board. It identified the plane as a Turkish Airlines Boeing 747-400, but the company told media that it belonged to another 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," said Turkish Airlines in a message in social networking service Twitter. 


Until 2014, the U.S. military operated a military installation at the Manas airport, using it primarily for its operations in Afghanistan.

Government spokeswoman Tolgonai Stamaliyeva says the plane -- which was en route from Hong Kong to Istanbul - was going to land at Manas airport to refuel. But it crashed in a populated area, damaging some 20 houses.

The cause of the crash has not yet been determined. However the area where the plane crashed was reported to be foggy at the time.

Airport officials said there were an unknown number of crew aboard the plane but no passengers. Government officials have rushed to the crash scene to investigate.

It has added to misery to in this impoverished ex-Soviet Central Asian of six million people.

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