27 Aug 2008

Kyrgyzstan mourns 65 dead in air crash

2:00 pm on 27 August 2008

Kyrgyzstan has announced a national day of mourning after 65 people died in one of the Central Asian state's worst air disasters since independence in 1991.

The aircraft, owned by local private carrier Itek-Air, was chartered by an Iranian company.

Russia is to send in air crash experts to the former Soviet state to help examine the flight recorders for clues as to why the Tehran-bound Boeing 737-200 crashed.

Survivors say a fireball engulfed the plane when it came down near the main airport in the capital Bishkek.

The Kyrgyz government has ruled out an act of terrorism.