'Pilot Error' Caused Turkish Cargo Plane Crash

The crash of a Turkish cargo plane in Kyrgyzstan that claimed at least 37 lives on Monday was caused by "pilot error," authorities in the Central Asian country said.

The crash of a Turkish cargo plane in Kyrgyzstan that claimed at least 37 lives on Monday was caused by "pilot error," authorities in the Central Asian country said. 

"According to preliminary information, the plane crashed due to a pilot error," Deputy Prime Minister Muhammetkaly Abulgaziev said at a briefing broadcast on state television.

The Turkish cargo jet crashed near Kyrgyzstan's Manas airport on Monday, killing at least 37 people, most of them residents of a village struck by the Boeing 747 as it tried to land in dense fog, Kyrgyz officials said.

The majority of the dead were from the village of Dacha-Suu where the plane - a Turkish Airlines flight from Hong Kong to Istanbul via Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek - crashed at around 7.30 am local time (0130 GMT), a spokesman for the country's emergency services ministry was quoted by news agency AFP.

According to the airport administration, the plane was supposed to make a stopover at Manas, near the capital city Bishkek, on its way from Hong Kong to Istanbul. 

News agency Reuters cited Kyrgyzstan's transport ministry saying there were five people on board. It identified the plane as a Turkish Airlines Boeing 747-400, but the company said it belonged to another Turkish firm, ACT Airlines.

The doomed plane ploughed for a few hundred metres (yards) through the village, shattering into pieces and damaging some 15 buildings.

Initial estimates put the death toll from the crash at 37, said Kyrgyzstan's emergencies ministry.

Rescue workers have recovered the body of a pilot and 15 villagers, the healthcare ministry said.