At least 37 people were killed when a Turkish cargo plane crashed into a village in Kyrgyzstan, according to a statement from Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Emergency Situations.
“The number of victims is increasing quickly,” Elira Sharipova, a spokeswoman for Kyrgyzstan’s Emergency Ministry told CNN. “The fire service, rescue services, ministry of internal affairs and the prime minister and emergencies minister are there.”
Pictures of the immediate aftermath of the accident showed a portion of the Zhang-Zhang village badly damaged.
In one image, the plane’s smoldering fuselage could be seen jutting out of the snow and the remnants of destroyed buildings. The airplane was heading to Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishek.
The plane crashed at 7:18 a.m. local time about two kilometers (1.2 miles) away from the airport, according to Kyrgyztan’s state-run Kabar Agency. Poor visibility was likely a factor, Kubatbek Boronov, the minister of Emergency Situations, told Kabar. At least eight people — including children — were hospitalized, Kabar reported.
Fifteen homes were destroyed, according to Sharipova. It’s not clear how many people were on board, but the freighter had seating for 10 — including two pilots, two observers and six additional passengers, according to a description on the airline’s website.
The Boeing 747 was headed from Hong Kong to Kyrgyzstan’s capital of Bishek, according to data from the tracking website FlightRadar24.