ATC Airlines, the operator of the flight that comes under the MyCargoAirlines brand, said that probes are required to establish the cause of the crash.
“The cause of the accident is unknown at this time and further details will be provided as they become available,” the company said.
However, upon preliminary findings, the cause of the crash has been ascribed to pilot error, according to Deputy Prime Minister Muhammetkaly Abulgaziyev, who cited evidence of 11 airplanes having landed safely despite the same weather conditions in the past day.
He added the plane had attempted to land twice and damaged the landing strip illumination at one stage. “This crew has flow [to Manas airport] 3-4 times. They know the landing strip at Manas airport. The visibility was 400 meters. That is why the flight controller at Kyrgyzaeronavigatsiya gave them clearance to land. The conditions were suitable for landing. So the provisional explanation is that the crash was due to crew error,” Abulgaziyev was quoted as saying by local media.
"President Almazbek Atambayev has offered condolences to the bereaved relatives and ordered to give all necessary assistance to those affected," the president’s office said in a statement, according to Sputnik news. "The government has been tasked with a thorough investigation into what caused the tragedy."
Tuesday, Jan. 17, has been declared as a day of national mourning, according to a newly released presidential decree that says Kyrgyzstan flags will be displayed everywhere, while specifying that the flags must fly at half-mast on buildings of diplomatic and consular missions abroad, AKIpress reported.
In the wake of the incident involving its Boeing 747-400, the company issued the following statement: "Boeing extends its deepest condolences to the families of those who perished in the Turkish Airlines cargo flight TK6491 accident near Manas Airport Kyrgyzstan, operated by ACT Airlines, as well as its wishes for the recovery of those injured. A Boeing technical team stands ready to provide assistance at the request and under the direction of government investigating authorities."