Near Almaty, Kazakhstan, a Bek Air aircraft carrying 98 passengers and crew aboard struggled to get airborne and crashed 19 seconds after takeoff, killing 12 and injuring 67. The aircraft, flight 72100, lost altitude during take-off and broke headfirst through a concrete structure located near Kyzyl Tu village. The official cause of the accident has not been established.
The aircraft, the Fokker 100, is a Dutch model, operated by the Kazakh airline Bek Air. The plane was scheduled to fly from Almaty to Nur-Sultan. The medium sized jet was allegedly 23 years old. The Dutch company that produced this model has been bankrupt since 1996 and hasn’t produced a Fokker 100 since 1997.
Eight people were pronounced dead at the scene, two died while being treated at the airport and two more died at the hospital. The captain was one of the deceased. Most on board were Kazakh, Chinese, Kyrgyz, and Ukrainian.
The president of Kazakhstan, President Qasym-Jomart Toqayev, declared a day of national mourning in response. He promised to provide compensation to families of the victims. He also ordered an audit of all Kazakh airlines. All Bek Air and Fokker 100 flights in Kazakhstan were suspended pending the investigation.
The last serious airplane crashes in Almaty were in 2013, when 47 died due to two plane crashes on two separate occasions. Bek Air was added to the European Union’s list of banned air carriers in 2009 but was removed in December 2016, according to the Aviation Safety Network.