Nearly 100 passengers onboard a Kazakhstan flight were involved in a terrible crash shortly after takeoff on Friday.
The plane was scheduled to fly from the city of Almaty to the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan. So far, it is reported that 12 people died in the crash and dozens more are being treated for injuries.
The details of the events leading up to and causing crash are still largely unknown. What is known is that weather conditions were far from ideal. Those present at the time of the crash reported heavy fog.
The plane crashed about a minute after take-off, hitting a barrier and then a two-story building. It may be significant to note that the tail of the plane scraped the runway twice during takeoff. That would likely indicate that the pilots were fighting bad weather.
According to passengers on the plane, the plane started losing altitude after a “terrifying sound” was heard.
There are three likely causes of the crash. Weather, user error, or mechanical failure. A combination of all three could have also been the cause.
The noise the passengers heard wasn’t likely to have been the tail scraping during takeoff. As already confirmed, that happened twice before the actual crash.
Mechanical failure is certainly a possibility but will require a thorough investigation to confirm. The plane’s data and wreckage will have to be examined closely.
The plane’s fuel not igniting as a result of the crash was a mercy that led to a relatively low death toll. According to reports, 12 died at the scene or soon after, and approximately 67 were injured. Of those, eight are said to still be in critical condition.
The crash has drawn a swift official response. As a precaution, all flights with the Fokker 100 aircraft will be temporarily suspended. The investigation will ensure the cause of the crash won’t affect other aircraft.
David Soucie, a former Federal Aviation Administration safety inspector commented on the crash, saying, “The airplane is pretty much a tank. But at this point, my suspicion would be weather being the biggest factor.”
Kazakhstan’s President Qasym-Jomart Toqayev declared a national day of mourning in response to the tragic event, and also said that “all those responsible will be severely punished in accordance with the law.”