A Kazakh plane with 98 people aboard has crashed shortly after take-off, killing at least 12 people, according to authorities.
Rescue workers found a baby alive among the rubble, after the plane crashed into a house.
There were 54 people taken to hospital with injuries, at least 10 of them in critical condition.
Among the dead is a journalist, Dana Kruglova, 35, head of investigations at Informburo Kazakhstan.
Her editor-in-chief Mikhail Dorofeyev described her as ‘honest, brave and unbiased at the same time’, saying her death was a ‘terrible loss for all of us.’
Also killed was Major General Rustem Kairarov, 79, a former Kazakhstan deputy interior minister.
He was later deputy head of the country’s Investigations Committee, in charge of probing serious crimes.
The plane’s captain, Murat Muratbayev, 58, died in hospital after being pulled out of the cockpit at the crash site.
Local authorities had earlier put the death toll at 15, but the Interior Ministry of the Central Asian nation later revised the figure downward.
The cause of the crash was unclear, but authorities are looking at two possible scenarios – pilot error and technical failure, Kazakhstan’s deputy prime minister Roman Sklyar said.
The Bek Air aircraft hit a concrete fence and a two-storey building after take-off from Almaty International Airport.
Mr Sklyar said the plane’s tail hit the runway twice during takeoff, indicating that it struggled to take off.
One survivor said that the plane started shaking less than two minutes after take-off.
Aslan Nazaraliyev, who survived the crash, said: ‘At first the left wing jolted really hard, then the right.
‘The plane continued to gain altitude, shaking quite severely, and then went down.’
In a statement on its Facebook page, the airport said there was no fire and a rescue operation got under way immediately following the crash.
Around 1,000 people were working at the snow-covered site of the crash. The weather in Almaty was clear, with mild sub-zero temperatures.
Footage showed the front of the broken-up fuselage rammed a house, and the rear of the plane lying in the field next to the airport.
The plane was flying to Nur-Sultan, the country’s capital formerly known as Astana.
It was identified as a Fokker-100, a medium-sized, twin-turbofan jet airliner. The company manufacturing the aircraft went bankrupt in 1996 and the production of the Fokker-100 stopped the following year.
All Bek Air and Fokker-100 flights in Kazakhstan have been suspended pending the investigation of the crash, the country’s authorities said.
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