Cargo plane crash destroys Kyrgyzstan houses, 32 dead

A Turkish cargo plane flying from Hong Kong has crashed in Kyrgyzstan, killing at least 32 people, most of them on the ground, officials say.

The Boeing 747 TC-MCL aircraft crashed as it was landing amid fog at Manas airport, about 25km (15 miles) north of the capital, Bishkek. At least 15 buildings were destroyed in a village outside the airport, with a number of children among the dead. Flight TK6491 was to have stopped at Manas en route to Istanbul in Turkey. The plane belonged to Turkish cargo carrier ACT, which flies under the name MyCargo. It said in a statement: “Our TC-MCL signed plane, flying on January 16 from Hong Kong to Bishkek, crashed on landing at Bishkek at the end of the runway for an unknown reason.” It said it was still awaiting “clear information”. The plane came down shortly after 07:30 local time (01:30 GMT) in the village of Dacha-Suu, a popular holiday home area near the airport. Visibility was poor at the time because of freezing fog, but the cause of the crash has not yet been confirmed. The plane is believed to have been around 14 years old. Images of the crash site show fire and smoke rising from the rubble of destroyed buildings. One witness told AFP news agency: “The plane crashed into the houses. It killed entire families. There’s nothing left of the houses. Many people were sleeping.”

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