EghtesadOnline: A Boeing Co. 747 cargo aircraft crashed during its approach to Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, on Monday, with some reports suggesting that at least 37 people were killed, most of them on the ground.
The jumbo jet was operated by ACT Airlines Inc., an Istanbul-based air-freight specialist that trades as MyCargo Airlines, and was attempting to land at Manas airport at 1:20 a.m. following a flight from Hong Kong, the Turkish carrier said on its website. “The cause of the accident is unknown,” it said.
The fate of the freighter’s four air crew isn’t yet clear, according to ACT, which is 49 percent owned by China’s HNA Group. Turkey’s transport ministry said in an e-mail that at least 30 people had died, including those on board, while the Kyrgyz health ministry put the toll at 32, according to Turkey’s state Anadolu Agency, and the Russian RIA reported at least 37 fatalities, Bloomberg reported.
The 747-400 carried the Turkish registration TC-MCL. It was operating as flight TK6491, according to the flightradar24.com website, which tracks flights. The relatively modern -400 version of the jumbo has suffered only a handful of crashes, almost all involving cargo flights, and Boeing tweeted that it “stands ready to assist” in the investigation.
ACT has a fleet of eight 747s, including the crashed plane, according to the MyCargo website. The company was established in 2004 and acquired by Yavuz and Daglar Cizmeci and backers two years later, the site says. HNA bought its holding in 2011, when the name change to MyCargo occurred, though Daglar Cizmeci retains control.
Turkish Airlines spokesman Yahya Ustun denied early reports that the company owned the plane. ACT declined to comment on suggestions that the jet was carrying cargo on behalf of the bigger carrier. Turkish Airlines shares rose as much as 1.6 percent to 5.09 liras in Istanbul.
Manas airport has been closed to air traffic until at least 4 p.m. Turkish time, Anadolu said.