At least 12 people are dead after a Bek Air Fokker 100 jet carrying 93 passengers and five crew members crashed Friday while taking off from Almaty Airport in Kazakhstan.
Photographs on Twitter show rescue workers working near the aircraft’s crumpled hull with the cockpit embedded in the side of a building.
Initial reports had the death toll at seven but several media outlets have since upgraded the figure to 14 following comments by the Almaty mayor. Another 22 people are reportedly seriously injured.
The reports said Kasakh aviation authorities have grounded all Fokker 100 jets in the country following the crash.
A statement from a Kazakh government spokesman said: “At 7:22 am on December 27, Bek Air Flight 2100 (Almaty to Nur-Sultan) lost height during take-off then crashed into a concrete fence.
“It crashed into a two-storey building.”
It appears from FlightRadar24 data that the F100 lost power seconds after take-off and only reached an altitude of 41ft before crashing.
Flightradar24 also shows the plane veering to the right shortly before the crash.
The F100 that crashed, UP-F1007, was built in 1996 and joined the Bek Air fleet in 2013.
Bek Air’s website says the airline flies to 12 major cities in Kazakhstan using Fokker-100s.
According to Wikipedia, the airline was founded in 1999 as a business jet operator and acquired its first F-100 in 2010 and had eight aircraft until the crash.
The F-100 is a workhorse jet still used in several countries and has a solid safety record. Some 280 were made with production ending in 1996.
Bek Air has one entry on the Aviation Safety Network’s database for a wheel’s up landing involving an F100 at Astana International Airport in March, 2016.
In that case, the nose gear failed to deploy and attempts to troubleshoot the problem were unsuccessful. The aircraft landed on foam laid down by airport fire services without fatalities.
The ASN said the airline was added to the European Union’s list of banned air carriers in 2008 but was removed in December, 2016.