Death toll from Kyrgyzstan plane crash rises

Death toll from Kyrgyzstan plane crash rises

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A Turkish Airlines cargo plane has crashed into a residential area just outside Kyrgyzstan’s main international airport, killing at least 37 people.

The Boeing 747 crashed just outside Manas airport, south of the capital Bishkek, on Monday morning, killing people in the residential area adjacent to the airport as well as those on the plane, the Emergency Situations Ministry said.

Reports of the death toll on Monday ranged from 37 people, according to emergency officials, to 31 people, according to the presidential press office, which said rescue teams have recovered 31 bodies as well as parts from nine bodies.

Images from the scene showed the nose of the plane stuck inside a brick house.

More than 1,000 rescue workers were at the scene by late morning in the residential area where 15 houses have been destroyed, Deputy Prime Minister Mukhammetkaly Abulgaziyev said.

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear.

Kyrgyz Emergency Situations Minister Kubatbek Boronov told reporters that it was foggy at Manas on Monday morning when the plane came down but weather conditions were not critical.

Until 2014, the US military operated an installation at Manas airport, using it primarily for its operations in Afghanistan.

Turkish media reports said the plane belonged to an Istanbul-based cargo company and it had departed from Hong Kong.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called his Kyrgyz counterpart, Erlan Abdildaev, on Monday to offer Turkey’s condolences, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

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