A Turkish Airlines cargo plane has crashed into a village killing 37 people after ‘missing the runway’ at Kyrgyzstan’s main international airport.

The Boeing 747, which was attempting to make a refuelling stop on its way from Hong Kong to Istanbul, crash-landed in heavy fog just outside Manas airport, south of the capital Bishkek, and ploughed through up to 60 buildings.

The impact of the crash killed 17 people on board and at least 15 living next to the airport – including 12 children and an entire family. Officials fear the death toll could rise.

There were reports this morning that looters had already descended on the scene with one man arrested for stealing two kettles from the wreckage, and hiding them under his coat.

This morning, authorities in the Central Asian county said ‘pilot error’ caused the crash. Dramatic pictures show the wreckage of the plane among the ruins of the village.

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The Boeing 747 crash-landed in heavy fog just outside Manas airport, south of the capital Bishkek and ploughed through 43 buildings

The Boeing 747 crash-landed in heavy fog just outside Manas airport, south of the capital Bishkek and ploughed through 43 buildings

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A desperate search operation was underway this morning as pictures emerged of rescuers carrying bodies from the crash site

A desperate search operation was underway this morning as pictures emerged of rescuers carrying bodies from the crash site

When rescuers arrived, they found the nose of the giant cargo plane coming out of the side of a house in the village

When rescuers arrived, they found the nose of the giant cargo plane coming out of the side of a house in the village

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The cargo plane, which was attempting to make a refuelling stop on its way from Hong Kong to Istanbul, crash-landed in heavy fog just outside Manas airport, south of the Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek

The cargo plane, which was attempting to make a refuelling stop on its way from Hong Kong to Istanbul, crash-landed in heavy fog just outside Manas airport, south of the Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek

One nine year old boy had left early for school in a neighbouring village and ran back to his home to find his entire family killed, it has been reported.

The haunting remains of the huge aircraft lay broken in the village, some on top of smashed and burning homes.

Rescue workers have already 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.

This morning, the pilot was named as Ibrahim Gurcan Diranci formerly a military airman in Turkey who had previously been involved in an emergency landing of an ACT Airlines aircraft at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan in 2010, when he was second pilot.

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

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

Pictures show a wheel from the giant aircraft after it crashed through houses killing  a number of villagers near Manas airport

Pictures show a wheel from the giant aircraft after it crashed through houses killing  a number of villagers near Manas airport

Rescue workers wore gas masks as they picked through the wreckage in the aftermath of the crash this morning

Rescue workers wore gas masks as they picked through the wreckage in the aftermath of the crash this morning

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Emergency crews have started the gruesome task of sifting through the crumpled remains of the plane and the ruins of buildings the aircraft crushed

Emergency crews have started the gruesome task of sifting through the crumpled remains of the plane and the ruins of buildings the aircraft crushed

Buildings were still on fire when rescuers reached the scene this morning. At least 37 people were killed in the disaster

Buildings were still on fire when rescuers reached the scene this morning. At least 37 people were killed in the disaster

A firefighter searches through the mangled remains of the aircraft after it crashed down near the Manas airport runway

A firefighter searches through the mangled remains of the aircraft after it crashed down near the Manas airport runway

Rescue workers continue search for bodies after airplane crash

This was blamed on a landing gear fault caused by poor maintenance.

The second pilot in today’s crash was named as Kazim Ondul.

According to the airport administration, the plane was supposed to make a stopover at Manas on its way to Istanbul. It crashed when trying to make a second attempt to land in poor visibility at 7.30am (1.30am GMT), it has been reported.

The doomed plane ploughed for a few hundred yards through the village, shattering into pieces and damaging dozens of buildings.

The majority of the dead were from the village of Dacha-Suu, a spokesman for the country’s emergency services, Muhammed Svarov, said.

Carnage: Houses were reduced to piles of rubble when the plane crashed down and ploughed hundreds of yards through a village

Carnage: Houses were reduced to piles of rubble when the plane crashed down and ploughed hundreds of yards through a village

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Rescuers are continuing the grim task of removing bodies from the scene of the devastating plane crash this morning

Rescuers are continuing the grim task of removing bodies from the scene of the devastating plane crash this morning

Dramatic video shows how buildings and plane wreckage were still on fire when rescuers descended on the scene after the crash this morning

Dramatic video shows how buildings and plane wreckage were still on fire when rescuers descended on the scene after the crash this morning

Dramatic video shows how buildings and plane wreckage were still on fire when rescuers descended on the scene after the crash this morning

Rescuers are still searching the scene amid fears the death toll from the disaster could rise. Pictures shows how buildings and cars were destroyed

Rescuers are still searching the scene amid fears the death toll from the disaster could rise. Pictures shows how buildings and cars were destroyed

Up to 43 homes were crushed by the jet as it ploughed along the ground for 'hundreds of yards', destroying houses and wiping out entire families sleeping inside

Up to 43 homes were crushed by the jet as it ploughed along the ground for ‘hundreds of yards’, destroying houses and wiping out entire families sleeping inside

One nine year old boy had left early for school in a neighbouring village and ran back to his home to find his entire family killed, it has been reported

One nine year old boy had left early for school in a neighbouring village and ran back to his home to find his entire family killed, it has been reported

The pilot was named as Ibrahim Gurcan Diranci (pictured)

The second pilot in today's crash was named as Kazim Ondul (pictured)

The pilot was named as Ibrahim Gurcan Diranci (left) formerly a military airman in Turkey. The second pilot in today’s crash was named as Kazim Ondul (right)

But the death toll could yet rise Svarov said, adding that authorities had launched a huge search and rescue operation.

‘Major work is underway,’ Svarov said. ‘The damage to infrastructure in the village is significant.’

Eyewitnesses said smoke was still thick in the area this morning and small fires burned in different parts of the village, but emergency services had nearly extinguished them.

Zumriyat Rezakhanova, a resident of Dacha-Suu said the plane fell ‘right on the homes’ where residents were sleeping.

‘My sister’s home is badly damaged. Luckily she and her family survived,’ Rezakhanova said.

Injured victim Baktygul Kubatova said: ‘The house was collapsing on us and I was worrying about my children, that they could die. We were sleeping at home as usual. I woke up after I saw something red in the window.

Eyewitnesses said smoke was still thick in the area this morning and small fires burned in different parts of the village, but emergency services had nearly extinguished them

Eyewitnesses said smoke was still thick in the area this morning and small fires burned in different parts of the village, but emergency services had nearly extinguished them

Eyewitnesses said smoke was still thick in the area this morning and small fires burned in different parts of the village, but emergency services had nearly extinguished them

Eyewitnesses said smoke was still thick in the area this morning and small fires burned in different parts of the village, but emergency services had nearly extinguished them

At least four pilots on the flight, which was travelling from Hong Kong to Istanbul via Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek, were among the dead, the emergency services ministry said, with one pilot's body yet to be found

At least four pilots on the flight, which was travelling from Hong Kong to Istanbul via Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek, were among the dead, the emergency services ministry said, with one pilot’s body yet to be found

 More than a thousand rescue workers were at the scene by late morning in the residential area where dozens of houses have been destroyed

 More than a thousand rescue workers were at the scene by late morning in the residential area where dozens of houses have been destroyed

Distressing footage from the scene shows a grieving woman being comforted by others. There are reports entire families were killed in the disaster

Distressing footage from the scene shows a grieving woman being comforted by others. There are reports entire families were killed in the disaster

‘I had no time to realise what happened. Then it turned out that the ceiling and the walls of the house was crashing. With fear, I covered my son with my hand to protect him from the ruins. We could not move and I started crying for help to get out of there.

‘The house was collapsing over and over again. My child was crying.

‘The neighbours came to help. My daughter received injuries, as she was sleeping near the window, while me and my son were sleeping on the floor. As soon as we got out of the house, we immediately ran to the neighbours to wait for my brother there.

‘But all other houses were on fire, all of them were destroyed, everything was damaged as if it was an earthquake. Thank God that we were just injured and stayed alive.’

Devastated ‘mother who lost her son’ mourns following plane crash

The country's Manas airport has been closed and flights cancelled until evening at the earliest, airport authorities said.

The country’s Manas airport has been closed and flights cancelled until evening at the earliest, airport authorities said.

Officials initially identified the Boeing 747-400 as belonging to Turkish Airlines, but Turkish cargo operator ACT Airlines said the jet was theirs

Officials initially identified the Boeing 747-400 as belonging to Turkish Airlines, but Turkish cargo operator ACT Airlines said the jet was theirs

Over 40 firefighters and nine firefighting trucks are operating at the crash site. A government commission has been set up to examine the causes of the tragedy

Over 40 firefighters and nine firefighting trucks are operating at the crash site. A government commission has been set up to examine the causes of the tragedy

Around 43 houses were damaged by the crash, according to the emergency services ministry, but others put the number at 60

Around 43 houses were damaged by the crash, according to the emergency services ministry, but others put the number at 60

Wreckage, including landing gear and wheels (pictured), was found over a one hectare crash site, according to officials

Wreckage, including landing gear and wheels (pictured), was found over a one hectare crash site, according to officials

Up to a thousand rescue workers were called to the scene this morning while police reported that looters had tried to take advantage of the chaos

Up to a thousand rescue workers were called to the scene this morning while police reported that looters had tried to take advantage of the chaos

Kyrgyz Emergency Situations Minister Kubatbek Boronov told reporters that it was foggy at Manas when the plane came down but weather conditions were not critical

Kyrgyz Emergency Situations Minister Kubatbek Boronov told reporters that it was foggy at Manas when the plane came down but weather conditions were not critical

At least four pilots on the flight, which was travelling from Hong Kong to Istanbul via Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek, were among the dead, the emergency services ministry said, with one pilot’s body yet to be found.

Around 43 houses were damaged by the crash, according to the emergency services ministry, but others put the number at 60.

‘The plane crashed into the houses, it killed entire families,’ one eyewitness told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

‘There’s nothing left of the houses, people were killed with their whole family, their children. Many people were sleeping.’

The country’s Manas airport has been closed and flights cancelled until evening at the earliest, airport authorities said.

Prime Minister Sooronbai Jeenbekov was heading a specially-appointed government commission to investigate the circumstances of the crash.

The Turkish Boeing 747 crashed just outside the Manas airport, south of the capital Bishkek, killing people in the residential area adjacent to the airport as well as those on the plane

The Turkish Boeing 747 crashed just outside the Manas airport, south of the capital Bishkek, killing people in the residential area adjacent to the airport as well as those on the plane

Sniffer dogs were called in as rescuers launched a desperate bid top find survivors after the plane crash this morning

Sniffer dogs were called in as rescuers launched a desperate bid top find survivors after the plane crash this morning

Aftermath: A national day of mourning for the crash victims is to be announced by the Krygyzstan authorities, it has emerged

Aftermath: A national day of mourning for the crash victims is to be announced by the Krygyzstan authorities, it has emerged

The plane left a trail of destruction after it tore through houses a few hundred yards from the airport where it was trying to land

The plane left a trail of destruction after it tore through houses a few hundred yards from the airport where it was trying to land

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev cancelled his visit to China to return to Bishkek, according to Kyrgyz media.

Officials initially identified the Boeing 747-400 as belonging to Turkish Airlines, but Turkish cargo operator ACT Airlines said the jet was theirs.

‘Our TC-MCL signed plane, flying on January 16 from Hong Kong to Bishkek, crashed on landing at Bishkek at the end of the runway for an unknown reason,’ ACT Airlines said in an emailed statement.

‘More information will be disclosed concerning our four-person team when we get clear information.’

Bishkek transport official Marat Amankulovso said: ‘The cargo jet was approaching the runway from the east.

‘At the landing it didn’t come down on the runway, flew over it, its fuselage touched the fence and after that it crashed. It is hard to say whether the fog affected the situation.

Bishkek transport official Marat Amankulovso said the cargo jet was approaching the runway from the east when it crashed

Bishkek transport official Marat Amankulovso said the cargo jet was approaching the runway from the east when it crashed

Investigation: The plane's fuselage was believed to have touched a fence before it crashed down into the village

Investigation: The plane’s fuselage was believed to have touched a fence before it crashed down into the village

Rescue teams are seen are seen at the crash site of a Turkish cargo jet near Kyrgyzstan's Manas airport outside Bishkek

Rescue teams are seen are seen at the crash site of a Turkish cargo jet near Kyrgyzstan’s Manas airport outside Bishkek

Dramatic pictures at the scene show the plan upside down after crashing through dozens of buildings in the village

Dramatic pictures at the scene show the plan upside down after crashing through dozens of buildings in the village

Images from the scene showed the nose of the plane stuck inside a brick house and large fragments of debris scattered around

Images from the scene showed the nose of the plane stuck inside a brick house and large fragments of debris scattered around

Pictures have emerged in local media purportedly showing the plane that crashed down in Kyrgyzstan this morning 

Pictures have emerged in local media purportedly showing the plane that crashed down in Kyrgyzstan this morning

‘We are told that all the standards were met, and that planes were landing in the same conditions earlier.’

Over 40 firefighters and nine firefighting trucks are operating at the crash site. A government commission has been set up to examine the causes of the tragedy.

Wreckage is spread across an area of one hectare.

A national day of mourning for the crash victims is to be announced by the Krygyzstan authorities.

‘In light of the plane crash that left over 30 people dead, Kyrgyzstan will announce the national day of mourning. President of the Kyrgyz Republic Almazbek Atambayev will sign the corresponding decree,’ said the presidential press service .

Until 2014, the US military operated a military installation at Manas airport, using it primarily for its operations in Afghanistan.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4123672/At-32-people-killed-Turkish-Airlines-cargo-plane-crashes-near-Kyrgyzstan-s-main-international-airport.html#ixzz4VvXwceOj

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