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Border Guard Plane Crashes in Kazakhstan, 27 Dead

RIA Novosti

19:47 25/12/2012

ASTANA, December 25 (RIA Novosti) - A military plane crashed in southern Kazakhstan on Tuesday, killing all 27 people onboard, including the acting head of Kazakhstan's border guard service, the National Security Committee said.

"Seven crew members and 20 servicemen were onboard the plane, including acting head of the border guards service Turganbek Stambekov," the committee said in a statement.

The regional emergencies service department's head, Valikhan Derezhepov, said the plane went off radar screens at approximately 5:00 p.m. Moscow time (1:00 p.m. GMT). A local resident called rescuers minutes after, saying he saw a plane crashing nearby.

Firefighters and rescuers were sent to the scene from the nearby city of Chimkent.

"There was no need in rescuers' help, the plane was completely destroyed by fire. Only fragments are left," Derezhepov said.

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