BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan – A passenger jet carrying 90 people, including a Kyrgyz high school sports team, crashed shortly after takeoff Sunday near the Kyrgyz capital, killing 68, government officials said.
The Boeing 737 was headed to Iran when it crashed near Bishkek’s Manas International Airport, said government spokeswoman Roza Daudova. Twenty-two people, including two crew members, survived the accident.
An airport official said the crew reported a technical problem about 10 minutes into the flight and that the plane was returning to the airport when it crashed. Officials said the crash followed the sudden decompression of the jet, which came down in a field near a village.
Among the survivors were seven of the 17 members of the basketball team from a school in the capital, Bishkek, said Health Ministry spokeswoman Yelena Bayalinova. Presidential adviser Tokon Mamytov later said the athletes were volleyball, not basketball players.