Kazakh patrol aircraft carrying 27 people crashes

AN-72 border patrol plane was carrying 20 military and 7 civilian crew

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 - 2:00am

A Kazakhstan border patrol plane with 27 people on board has crashed, the country's National Security Committee said Tuesday.

Twenty servicemen and seven crew members were on the AN-72 plane when it crashed in southern Kazakhstan, in central Asia, the committee said in a statement.

Turganbek Stambekov, the temporary director of Kazakhstan's border patrol service, was among those on board, the committee said.

The statement was reported by Russian and Kazakh news outlets.

The head of the regional emergency services department, Valikhan Derezhepov, said the plane went off radar screens about 5 p.m. Moscow time and a resident called rescuers within minutes to say he saw a plane crashing, Russian state-run RIA Novosti reported.

First responders raced to the scene, near the city of Chimkent. Kazakh authorities are investigating.

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