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At least 20 killed in Kazakhstan plane crash

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 29, 2013 at 9:23 a.m.

— A passenger jet carrying at least 20 people crashed Tuesday in heavy fog near Kazakhstan’s principal city, Almaty, killing all on board, the airline and officials said.

The Kazakh Prosecutor-General’s office listed 21 people as having been killed. The SCAT airline said the plane carried 20.

The accident highlights persistent concerns over aviation safety in Kazakhstan, almost all of whose airlines are banned from flying to Western Europe.

Officials said the plane, flying in from the northern city of Kokshetau, disappeared from radar view about 1:13 p.m. local time, more than 20 minutes after it has been scheduled to land.

State news agency Kazinform cited an emergency official at the site of the crash as saying the plane was initially denied permission to land by the airport due to poor visibility.

The plane then made a second approach, but lost its bearings and crashed a few miles from the airport, the official said.

The Emergencies Ministry said the plane was a Canadian-built Bombardier CRJ200, a two-engine regional jet that can accommodate about 50 passengers.

SCAT said the cause for the crash will not be determined until flight recorder data are examined.

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