International

Kazakhstan jet’s black boxes sent to Moscow

Little hearts: Tributes were paid in the form of candles and paper aeroplanes near the Almaty Airport to those killed in Friday’s crash.

Little hearts: Tributes were paid in the form of candles and paper aeroplanes near the Almaty Airport to those killed in Friday’s crash.   | Photo Credit: AP

Country observes day of mourning a day after airliner slammed into a house

Kazakhstan observed a national day of mourning on Saturday after 12 people died when an airliner crashed shortly after take-off and slammed into a house.

Witnesses spoke of the terrified screams of passengers as the plane came down on the edge of the country’s biggest city Almaty on Friday, but many on board managed to walk away without serious injury. The jet carrying nearly 100 passengers operated by budget carrier Bek Air was torn apart and its nose crushed on impact with a two-storey building just minutes after taking off en route to the capital Nur-Sultan.

Kazakh authorities have launched an investigation to determine the cause of the disaster, and the plane’s black boxes have been sent to Moscow for examination, according to Deputy Industry Minister Berik Kamilyev, cited by Russian news agencies.

In Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan’s largest flag was at half-mast for the day of mourning while officials made urgent appeals for blood donations to help the dozens of injured survivors. Neighbouring Russia and China were among the countries to join the Vatican and the European Union in expressing condolences to the former Soviet Central Asian republic. Officials say the Fokker 100 plane’s tail hit the tarmac twice on Friday during take-off before it came down and crashed into the concrete building.

“Either this is a pilot error, or there were technical reasons,” Deputy Prime Minister Roman Sklyar said at a press conference in Almaty on Friday. “The aircraft split into two parts. Most of the passengers who died were in the front part.”

According to Kazakh emergency authorities, the 12 dead included the pilot. Another 47 passengers out of the 98 people on-board were still in hospital on Saturday. Nine of them were children, officials said.

 

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 2:58:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/kazakhstan-jets-black-boxes-sent-to-moscow/article30421379.ece

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