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20 believed dead in Kazakhstan plane crash

ALMATY, Kazakhstan – A passenger plane crashed Tuesday near Kazakhstan’s principal city, Almaty, likely killing all 20 on board, Kazakhstan airline SCAT said.

Almaty and surrounding areas have been shrouded in fog for the last two days and the accident appears to have been caused by limited visibility.

A SCAT statement said 15 passengers and five crew members were aboard the plane.

Visibility was limited, forcing the plane to make a second approach to Almaty airport, the airline said.

The Emergency Services Ministry said rescue workers have been dispatched.

Details on the crash were sparse, including the kind of plane. SCAT’s website shows it flies Boeing 757s and 737s along with the Yak-42 and the An-24.

Interfax news agency cited the Almaty province deputy governor Amandyk Batalov as identifying the aircraft as a Canadian-made Bombardier CRJ200.

The Emergency Services Ministry said the plane, which it said was flying in from the northern city of Kokshetau, disappeared from radar around 1:13 p.m. local time.

This is the second major aircraft accident recently in Kazakhstan. In December, 27 people died when an An-72 military plane crashed near the southern city of Shymkent during violent snowstorms.

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