Update: Kyrgyzstan says at least 32 dead after Turkish cargo plane hits houses, reports news agency AFP.
Bishkek: A Turkish Airlines cargo jet crashed near Kyrgyzstan’s Manas airport on Monday, killing at least 16 people, the Kyrgyz government said in the early hours of Monday.
Rescue workers have recovered the body of one pilot and 15 local people whose houses were in the Boeing 747 jet’s crash area, the healthcare ministry said.
The Boeing 747 crashed into homes near Manas airport, outside the capital Bishkek, the healthcare ministry said. Manas, Kyrgyzstan’s main international airport, is about 25km (15 miles) north of the capital. The cause of the crash is not yet clear.
A number of children are reported to have been among those killed. The flight was heading to Manas from Hong Kong, en route to Istanbul, when it crashed. It happened at around 07:30 local time (01:30 GMT).
Visibility was poor because of thick fog at the time, but the cause of the crash has not yet been confirmed. Images on social media purporting to be of the crash site show fire and smoke rising from the rubble of destroyed buildings.
Emergency services are at the scene. Local media are reporting that a number of senior government officials are also there.