Passenger plane traveling to Iran crashes in Kyrgyzstan, killing 68

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Manas International Airport, Kyrgyzstan
Image: Brian Dell.

An Itek-Air Boeing 737 flight 6875, operated by Aseman Airlines and traveling to Iran has crashed in Kyrgyzstan only 10 minutes after taking off. It is unclear how many were on board, but reports say there were at least 90 people on the plane with the crash killing 68. At least 22 are reported to have survived, including all crew members.

"According to updated information, 68 passengers were killed, including 24 Kyrgyz, five Iranians, one Turkish national, three Canadians, three Kazakhs and one Chinese," said a spokesman for Igor Chudinov, Kyrgyzstan's prime minister.

Map of Kyrgyzstan
Image: US Central Intelligence Agency.

Reports state that members of the crew reported "technical issues" with the plane shortly after take off from Manas International Airport in Kyrgyzstan. Within 10 minutes the crew reported a severe loss of cabin pressure. When the plane made an emergency landing, it burst into flames. The plane was headed to Tehran, Iran.

The United States military has sent rescue equipment and crews from its base at the airport to assist the government in the incident.