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Kazakhstan Airplane Crash Kills All 21 in Bombardier Jet

A Bombardier Inc. CRJ-200 regional jet carrying 16 passengers and five crew members crashed near the Kazakh commercial hub of Almaty, killing everybody on board.

The AO Airline SCAT plane was en route from Kokshetau in the north of the country when it crashed 5 kilometers (3 miles) from Almaty’s airport at about 1 p.m. local time as it approached the city for landing in foggy conditions, the Astana-based Prosecutor General’s Office said in a statement e-mailed today. A criminal probe was opened into the incident, according to the statement.

There were no survivors from the flight, the airline said in a statement. No one was immediately available to comment further at Shymkent-based SCAT.

Search and rescue teams were on site, which was sealed off with a triple cordon of security, Interfax reported. A group of businessmen was aboard the jet, which broke into pieces after crashing, according to the news service.

The dead included Galymzhan Dyusenov, co-owner of the Aidabulskiy distillery, his wife and two-year-old son, Interfax said, citing an Akmola regional office of the Interior Ministry.

The airplane’s black box was recovered at the crash site, the Kazakh president’s press office said on its website. The airplane, manufactured in Canada in 2000, underwent its last technical maintenance in June 2011, according to the statement.

Bombardier is in contact with local authorities and will support and assist with the investigation, said Marc Duchesne, a spokesman for the Montreal-based company.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic event and extend our condolences to the families,” he said.

SCAT, founded in 1997, operates domestic and international flights, according to its website. The company’s fleet also includes Boeing Co. 757-200 and 737-500 jets and Russian-made Yak-42 and An-24 aircraft.

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