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Kazakhstan plane crash survivor called rescue team to crash site: father's account 25 января 2015, 04:59

The father of the sole survivor of the Zhambyl Oblast An-2 plane crash speaks about his daughter's ordeal.
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An-2 airplane crashed in Zhambyl Oblast in southern Kazakhstan on January 20 at 3:40 pm, killing 6 people. The only person onboard that plane who remained alive was a young woman named Asem Shayakhmetova. She is undergoing surgeries and the doctors promise she will be able to walk in three weeks. Her father Omarkhan Kakokov spoke about his daughter’s miraculous survival, Tengrinews reports citing Kazinform.

"Our daughter had called and told us that she was flying with a group to a mine. We started to get worried at around 4-5pm, because she calls us almost every hour to ask how we are doing. But there were no calls from her. Then, at around 7-8pm we learnt from the news that a plane that flew to a mine had crashed. They reported there was a single survivor. We went on the Internet and looked through all the news feeds and found our daughter there. She survived miraculously. 6 people were killed but she survived,” the father said.

He next told the story of courage and true will to live. “Our daughter did not simply survived. She dug herself out of a meter-deep snow, crawled out with broken legs, found a cell phone and called a rescue team," he said.

Asem first phoned the Department of Emergency Situations (DES) for Kyzylorda Oblast. After this she called rescuers in Zhambyl Oblast. A group of rescuers from Kazakhmys was already looking for the plane by that time. And the young woman remained on the phone and led them to the crash site.

"Then she was found, put on the plane’s wing and carried out, because there was no road for a vehicle to approach. Then the DES arrived and took her to the hospital. I am thankful to Shu clinic because they had given her first aid. She was having blood transfusions for almost two days. She had fractures, the blood was gushing out, and they kept poured it in,” the father recalled.

Kakokov thanked Kazakhmys company for providing aid. “They organized everything. Kazakhmys reps put us on a high-speed train from Semey to Astana," he said.

After arriving in Astana, they immediately rushed into the clinic, where they saw Asem, who said: “Dad, I was born with a caul. I survived.”

And they answered: “Be strong!”

“She recognized us but could only say “Mom, dad.” She is now weak, says nothing more. The doctors say her condition is serious but stable. A surgery has just finished,” Kakokov says.

“In the morning we spoke to the chief doctor. He said that we needed blood for the next operation. Employees of Kazakhmys had already donated some. The company is helping a lot. Our son is in the military and his colleagues are also donating. The Department of Health of Astana is doing a lot too. I want to thank them all," the father said.

Asem was born in Bolshenarymsky district, in Katon-Karagay of East Kazakhstan Oblast. She moved to Semey in 2012. The woman worked as chief geologist in Shemonaikha and then moved to Balkhash. She has worked in Kazakhmys for five years.

“Now, I think, God willing, she will start a new life. The most important thing is that she is alive," the father shared.

It is a bitter sweet moment. Asem is in pain. But alive.

Relatives of the other six people can only be bitter. They are coming to terms with the deaths of their beloved ones.

One million tenge ($5,400) will be given to each of the families by the order of the Akimat (governor’s office) of Karaganda Oblast. "In addition to this amount, the families will receive the necessary maximum financial support," the press service of the Oblast administration said. Also, Kazakhmys will allocate 10 annual salaries to the families of its deceased employees.

By Dinara Urazova

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