ALMATY/MARCH 13 (The Bulletin) — A Kazakh military plane crashed at Almaty airport, killing four people, the second deadly plane crash in Kazakhstan in the past 15 months.
Kazakhstan’s emergencies ministry said the plane, a Soviet-designed AN-26, was travelling to Almaty from Nur Sultan, the capital, and crashed in foggy conditions.
“On March 13 at 1725, information was received from the dispatch service of the Almaty airport that at 1722 a military plane AN-26 disappeared from the radars by the Nur-Sultan – Almaty route and made an emergency landing at the airport in Almaty,” the emergencies ministry said in its statement. “According to preliminary data, four people died, two injured were sent to the city clinical hospital No. 4 in Almaty.”
Russian media said that the plane had been operated by the Kazakh border guards and there there were six crew members on board but no passengers.
Kazakhstan has a dubious aviation safety record. On Dec. 26 2019, a Bek Air passenger plane crashed shortly after taking off from Almaty airport, killing 12 people. Seven years earlier, in December 2012, another plane operated by the Kazakh border guards service crashed near Shymkent, killing all 27 people on board.
The AN-26, first manufactured in 1969, is the workhorse of many former Soviet military plane fleets. Until 10 years ago, or so, commercial airlines also flew AN-26s, although most have withdrawn them on safety and reliability concerns.
— This story was published in issue 475 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on March 15 2021
— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021