A Turkish cargo jet crashed near Manas airport in Kyrgyzstan, killing at least 37 people, most of them inhabitants of a village struck by the Boeing 747 as the jet tried to land in dense fog, Kyrgyz officials have stated.

A Turkish cargo jet flying from Hong Kong crashed into a village in Kyrgyzstan, killing dozens. The Kyrgyz president, Almazbek Atambayev, declared that Tuesday would be a national day of mourning. 

According to the airport's administration, the jet was supposed to make a stopover at Manas airport, near the capital, Bishkek, on its way from Hong Kong to Istanbul. The jet crashed when attempting to land in poor visibility at 7.31 am (0131 GMT).

Locals thought it was an earthquake

The cargo jet ploughed on for a few hundred metres through the Dachi Suu village, which is home to hundreds of families. It shattered into many pieces and damaged a big number of buildings.

Smoke rose above the crash site, the torn-off tail assembly, rotated upside down, towered above a house. At first, locals thought the area had been struck by an earthquake. The area nearby was covered with twisted pieces of metal.  

Nobody understood what happened because there was a fog and the weather was not good.

ACT Airlines declared that the cargo jet was its plane

Turkish Airlines stated the cargo flight was operated by ACT Airlines and neither the aircraft nor the crew belonged to Turkish Airlines. ACT Airlines declared that the Boeing 747-400 was its plane.

ACT Airlines stated: Our TC-MCL signed plane, flying on Jan 16 from Hong Kong to Bishkek, crashed on landing at Bishkek at the end of the runway for an unknown reason.

There will be a research about it to get more information on the causes of the accident.