All 20 on board Kazakh jet killed in crash

AFP, Wednesday 30 Jan 2013

Almost 20 people, five crew members and 15 passengers, died after a Kazakh plane crashed, the airline said

All 20 people on board a domestic flight in Kazakhstan operated by the SCAT airline died Tuesday when their Canadian-made jet crashed on approach to Almaty airport in thick fog, the airline said.

"Twenty people were on board -- five crew members and 15 passengers," the airline said in a statement quoted by the Interfax news agency.

"According to preliminary information there are no survivors," the statement added, saying the aircraft was a CRJ-200 made by Canadian manufacturer Bombardier.

Officials said the victims included one child.

SCAT said the plane went down about five kilometres (three miles) short of the financial centre's main airport on a flight from the northern steppe city of Kokshetau.

Commercial KTK television said the plane crashed into an Almaty suburb but gave no information of possible casualties or damage on the ground.

The airline itself said the Bombardier had made one approach to the airport and was about to rise again for a second approach when it suddenly veered off course and ploughed to the ground.

"We are forming a commission. We are going to provide help to the relatives of those who died," regional administration chief Kosman Aitmukhametov told Interfax.

The Kazinform news agency reported that officials from both the interior and transportation ministry had travelled to the site of the crash.

Interfax said the plane itself was produced in 2000 and had last undergone scheduled repairs in June 2011. It added that the jet was then certified to fly until its next scheduled maintenance in September this year.

It was the second deadly winter accident to strike the fast-developing Central Asian nation in just a month, underlining the need for careful checks of ageing aircraft.

The accident came just a month after another crash that killed 27, wiping out much of the top echelon of the Kazakh state border service.

That jet also went down in bad weather.

Aviation disasters remain a scourge across the former Soviet Union due to ageing hardware that often has not been replaced since the fall of the Soviet regime, as well as human error.

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