ASTANA, December 26 (Itar-Tass) – Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev believes that a border service plane belonging to the country’s National Security Committee has crashed because of fatal combination of circumstances rather than anybody’s malicious intent. “Judging from preliminary reports, we can say that there was no malicious external impact. I imagine that there was a tragic combination of circumstances,” Nazarbayev said at a meeting with the head of government and law enforcers.
Nazarbayev said that the pilot was experienced and that the plane had been in good order after repairs.
The president added that the crew had decided to land the plane despite the extremely hard weather conditions in the disaster area on December 25.
"The circumstances of the incident will be known after completion of investigation into the crash causes,” the Kazakh head of state went on to say.
Kazakh Defense Minister Adilbek Dzhaksybekov said that a special commission had been set up to investigate the crash according to existing rules of investigation of aviation incidents.
"Preliminary examination of the plane wreckage confirms that humidity in the area around the airport was 97%. It was foggy. The temperature was minus one degree Centigrade which could have caused icing. A number of other factors are also pointing to bad weather conditions that made normal landing impossible,” Dzhaksybekov said.
For his part, Kazakhstan’s Chief Prosecutor Askhat Daulbayev said that the commission had confiscated all the documents linked to repairs of the crashed AN-72, including its home base and place of departure. A flight recorder or the so-called “black box” has been found. “We are going to establish the exact causes that led to the crash of the military transportation plane,’ Daulbayev went on to say.
In the meantime, Vladimir Zhumakanov, the deputy head of the Kazakh National Security Committee, said that his boss was currently at the crash site. A commission has been set up to deal with the families of the dead and organize the funerals of the perished border service officers.
"On the whole, the border service continues working normally. The state border is well protected,” Zhumakanov said.
The Kazakh president’s press service said in its press release on Wednesday that President Nazarbayev stressed the need to adopt measures to avert the repeat of such incidents in future. "Unfortunately, the world has seen such incidents. But this is weak consolation for us. We should take all necessary measures to prevent such incidents in our country,” the Kazakh president stressed.
The AN-72 military transportation plane of the Kazakh National Security Committee border service crashed when approaching the city of Shymkent at 18:55 local time (15:55 Moscow time) last Tuesday. All the people onboard died: seven crewmen and twenty servicemen, including Turganbek Stambekov, the Kazakh border service director, and a group of officers that accompanied him.