Global Voices

Day of Mourning in Kyrgyzstan After Cargo Plane Crashes, Killing Dozens

Kyrgyzstan's Manas airport in Bishkek. Creative commons.

Kyrgyzstan's Manas airport inear the capital Bishkek. Creative commons.

Kyrgyzstan is observing a day of mourning January 17 after a Turkish cargo plane failed to land at the country's main airport on a misty winter morning, instead crashing in a village close by and killing over 30 people.

The dead are mostly local Kyrgyz from a nearby village, and some of the stories are harrowing.

A little boy got up and went to school. As he was getting there, a plane fell on his house and his whole family died. What horror.

The government quickly blamed the accident on the crew of the freight plane operated by ACT Airlines, a fact that has upset many people.

Journalist Anna Lelik wrote on Facebook:

На расследование авиакрушений уходят многие месяцы. Наши власти, не найдя еще черных ящиков, без расшифровок, спустя всего лишь несколько часов, умудряются уже публично делать достаточно уверенные заявления о предварительных причинах. Без расследования, на очень высоком уровне, успевают судить о происшествии, которое случилось не в ясную солнечную погоду, а в сильный густой туман (и да, за считанные часы до этого президентский самолет посадили в Тамчы, а не в Бишкеке). Я надеюсь, что по итогам должного расследования будет восстановлена объективная картина и оглашены причины, а всем пострадавшим оказана помощь.

Мои соболезнования семьям и близким всех погибших в последствиях авиакатастрофы около аэропорта “Манас”. Пострадавшим – здоровья и поскорее пойти на поправку. Спасателям и медикам, всем помогающим, спасибо за их работу в такой холод.

Air crash investigations take many months. Our authorities had not yet found the black boxes, there were no transcripts, and yet after only a few hours, they had already managed to make a fairly confident statement about preliminary causes. Without an investigation, and at the highest levels, they have found time to judge an incident, that took place not in clear, sunny weather but in heavy fog (and yes, a few hours before the presidential plane [was forced to land in] Tamchy, not in Bishkek [due to fog]. I hope that an objective picture will emerge on the basis of a proper investigation, and that all victims will be assisted. My condolences to the families and relatives of all the casualties in the aftermath of the plane crash near the Manas airport. To the injured, health and a speedy recovery. To rescuers and doctors, thanks for all your work in such cold weather.

The tragedy has led to one of the biggest local resource mobilisation efforts in the country's history. Currently the fundraising effort is mostly cash and goods based, targeting people living in Kyrgyzstan.

If other means of giving (Kickstarter, etc.) appear online Global Voices will add links underneath this article.

Originally published in Global Voices.

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