August 24, 2008 / 4:26 PM / in 10 years

Kyrgyz passenger plane crashes, over 120 aboard

BISHKEK (Reuters) - A Kyrgyz passenger plane crashed with more than 120 people on board shortly after take-off from the capital’s Manas airport, an airport official said on Sunday.

“It took off and reported a technical problem and tried to return to the airport,” a spokeswoman for Manas airport told Reuters. She said 123 people were on board the flight to Iran run by private Kyrgyz company Itek-Air.

“At the moment rescue teams, fire brigades and medics are rushing to the crash site,” a spokeswoman for the U.S. air base located in Manas, 30 km (20 miles) from the capital Bishkek, told Russia’s RIA news agency.

Russian news agencies said earlier the plane was a Boeing-737.

The Emergencies Ministry of Kyrgyzstan, a tiny former Soviet Central Asian republic, told Interfax that rescue teams were trying to locate the crash site.

Writing by Oleg Shchedrov; editing by Jon Boyle

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