By Chris York
A Kazakhstan plane with 98 people aboard crashed soon after takeoff early on Friday morning, killing at least 15 people, officials in Almaty said.
At least 66 others survived with injuries, with 50 of them sent to hospital, PA Media reports.
The Bek Air aircraft lost altitude soon after takeoff at 7:22am local time before crashing into a concrete fence and a two-story building, the airport said.
A survivor told news website Tengrinews she heard a “terrifying sound” before the plane started losing altitude.
“The plane was flying with a tilt. Everything was like in a movie: screaming, shouting, people crying,” she said.
A Reuters reporter travelling to the airport soon after the crash said there was thick fog in the area.
In a statement on its Facebook page, the airport said there was no fire and a rescue operation got underway immediately following the crash.
Around 1,000 people were working at the snow-covered site of the crash. The weather in Almaty was clear, with mild sub-zero temperature that is common at this time of the year.
Footage showed the front of the broken-up fuselage which had rammed a house, and the rear of the plane which was lying in a field next to the airport.
The plane was flying to Nur-Sultan, the country’s capital formerly known as Astana.
The aircraft was identified as a Fokker-100, a medium-sized, twin-turbofan jet airliner. The company manufacturing the aircraft went bankrupt in 1996 and the production of the Fokker-100 stopped the following year.
All Bek Air and Fokker-100 flights in Kazakhstan have been suspended pending the investigation of the crash, the country’s aviation authorities said.