Plane crash in Kazakhstan kills 21
It was the second fatal plane crash in the former Soviet republic in just a over a month. Visibility at Kyzyl Tu was only about 20 to 30 metres, and much of the area around Almaty was veiled in fog when the plane crashed. "The preliminary cause of the accident is bad weather," Deputy Almaty Mayor Maulen Mukashev told reporters. "Not a single part of the plane was left intact after it came down."
The plane had been on its way from the city of Kokshetau in northern Kazakhstan to Almaty in the southeast, Mukashev said.
SCAT, which has been operating since 1997, runs an extensive domestic service and has some international flights.
Alexander Gordeyev, deputy head of Almaty's airport, said the weather had been bad but planes were being allowed to land.
A military transport airplane crashed in bad weather on December 25 near the southern Kazakh city of Shymkent, killing all 27 on board. Prosecutors have said a combination of technical problems, bad weather and human error caused that accident.