According to preliminary reports, only 20 out of 90 people, aboard a Kyrgyz passenger plane bound for Tehran, survived after the aircraft crashed near the capital, Bishkek, the country's emergencies minister said on Sunday.
The crash occurred shortly after take off when the crew reported a technical malfunction and decided to return to Manas, Bishkek's international airport. The Boeing-737 crashed and burst into flames, two kilometers away from Manas.
The plane was carrying 83 passengers, including Kyrgyzstan's national basketball youth team, and seven crewmembers.
Kyrgyz Prime Minister Igor Chudinov said the plane's pilot was one of the survivors, who were rushed to Bishkek's hospitals.
Kyrgyz authorities said that cabin decompression, a fault with the flight control system or engine failure, were among the possible causes of the crash.