Bishkek’s airport resumes operations

The international airport of Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek - Manas - has resumed normal operation, the chief of the airport’s external relations department, Ainura Tentiyeva, told Itar-Tass. All flights are in and out on time and registration of passengers is underway.

Tentiyeva said the airport had been closed till 08:00 local time (06:00) Moscow time.

The measure was forced after a Tupolev-154 passenger jet collided with a tanker plane of the air base being used by the international anti-terrorist coalition.

A special commission incorporating civil aviation department specialists is looking into the circumstances of the incident.

No official version is available at this point. However, sources at Manas told Itar-Tass the Tupolev-154 jet with 52 passengers and nine crew on board hit the military plane, which had failed to leave the runway, with a wing. The tanker plane caught fire and burned down.

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Witnesses said the pilot of the passenger liner, en route from Bishkek to Osh and Moscow, managed to make an emergency landing.

The tanker plane that burned down was part of the international anti-terrorist contingent located at Manas. Currently the base houses 800 troops, several military transport planes and tanker planes.

US Air Force personnel constitute the backbone of the continent responsible for supporting the Enduring Freedom operation in the territory of Afghanistan.
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