A Turkish cargo Plane travelling from Hong Kong has crashed in Kyrgyzstan resulting in the death of at least thirty seven people, according to government officials. The fourteen year old Boeing 747 TC-MCL, owned by ATL Airlines, crashed as it attempted to land in heavy fog at Manas airport. Flight TK6491 was scheduled to re-fuel at Manas airport on the way to Istanbul, the Turkish capital.

The pilot's error

Around twenty buildings were destroyed in the Crash, with multiple children among those dead. On state TV, Kyrgzstan deputy prime minster Muhammetklay Abulgaziev said: "According to preliminary information attained by the government, the plane crashed due to an error made by the pilot".

A local witness, Baktygul Kurbatova, stated: "I woke up because of the bright light outside. I couldn't comprehend what had happened. It turned out that the ceiling and the walls were caving in on us. I was petrified but I managed to cover my child's face to protect him from the debris.

One of the two pilots was seen to be waking around moments after the crash, but he was pronounced dead on the way to the hospital. Rescue workers recovered both pilots bodies, according to the Kyrgyzstan healthcare ministry. According to reports, looters were quick to the scene.

Potentially more deaths

Muhammed Svarov, a spokesperson for Kyrgyzstan's emergency services said that the death toll could still rise.

"Major work is currently underway but the infrastructure of the village is severely damaged," said Svarov. Injured victim of the crash Baktygul Kubatova said: "The house was collapsing on us and I thought that we was going to die". Around fifty houses were completely destroyed by the crash. One witness said that there was "nothing left" of some of the houses.

Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambayev cancelled his trip to China in order to assemble a team of experts to deal with the crash. Atambayev said that a natoinal day of mourning for the crash victims will take place. The crash in Kyrgyzstan is the latest in a series of airplane tragedies.