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Passenger plane crashes near Kazakh city of Almaty

Passenger plane crashes near Kazakh city of Almaty

At least 20 people are feared dead after a passenger plane crashed near Kazakhstan's commercial capital, Almaty.

The CRJ-200 aircraft was travelling from the northern town of Kokshetau.

Kazakhstan's Scat airlines said it believed everyone on board died when it crashed on approach to Almaty. Reports say the plane encountered bad weather.

Last month a military plane carrying top Kazakh security officials crashed, killing all 27 on board.

"According to preliminary information there are no survivors," the airline said in a statement quoted by the Interfax news agency.

The statement added that 20 people were on board the aircraft.

Earlier reports quoted officials as saying that 21 people - 15 passengers and six crew members - were on the plane.

Details about the crash are still emerging and there is little information about casualties or damage on the ground.

Almaty's deputy mayor Maulen Mukashev visited the crash site near the village of Kyzyl Tu and said that the Canadian-built Bombardier plane crashed in thick fog, Reuters news agency reports.

"The preliminary cause of the accident is bad weather," Mr Mukashev is quoted as saying. "Not a single part of the plane was left intact after it came down," he said.

Scat airlines is based in Kazakhstan with its main base at Shymkent airport - it operates extensive domestic services and some international flights as well.

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