At least 25 bodies recovered from plane crash in Pakistani capital, says officialBy AP
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Pakistan: 25 bodies recovered from plane crash
ISLAMABAD — A government official says at least 25 bodies have been recovered from the site of the plane crash in the hills surrounding Pakistan’s capital.
Ramzan Sajid, the spokesman for the Capital Development Authority, has told The Associated Press that rescuers continue to search the wreckage for additional dead and wounded. The Capital Development Authority has a group that responds to emergency situations.
The cause of Wednesday’s Airblue crash was not immediately clear.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
ISLAMABAD (AP) — A passenger jet carrying 152 people crashed into the hills surrounding Pakistan’s capital amid rain Wednesday, officials said. At least five people were killed and five wounded, but many more were feared dead.
The cause of the Airblue crash was not immediately clear, said Pervez George, a civil aviation official. He said the plane had left the southern city of Karachi at 7:45 a.m. for a two-hour scheduled flight to Islamabad and was trying to land during difficult weather. Airblue is a private service based in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city.
“The plane was about to land at the Islamabad airport when it lost contact with the control tower, and later we learned that the plane had crashed,” George said, adding that the model of the plane was Airbus 321 and the flight number was ED202.
Guards with the forestry service said they had found some wreckage and seen at least five dead bodies, said Imtiaz Inayat Ali, an official with Islamabad’s Capital Development Authority. Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik said at least five wounded passengers had been rescued.
Pakistani news channels showed what appeared to be wreckage of the plane as a helicopter hovered above the heavily forested hills to assess the situation. Fire was visible and smoke was blowing up from the scene. The army said it was sending special troops to the area to help out along with helicopters.
At the Islamabad airport, hundreds of friends and relatives of those on board the flight swarmed ticket counters desperately seeking information. A large cluster of people also surrounded the list of passengers on the flight, which was posted near the Airblue ticket counter.
“Nobody is guiding anyone. People are running from one counter to another,” said Arshad Mahmood, whose brother, Maulana Nawab Ulhasan, a prayer leader in a town near Islamabad, was on the flight.
“I’m praying for his survival, but I think there is little hope,” Mahmood said.
Arshad Ali said his cousin, Raza Ali, was supposed to be on the flight but missed it in Karachi on his way from Canada.
“We are happy he missed the flight, but things here are in shambles at the airport,” Ali said. “For God’s sake, take care of the worried people, the relatives of those who were on the unfortunate plane. They have no information and are just running here and there.”
Saqlain Altaf told Pakistan’s ARY news channel that he was on a family outing in the hills when he saw the plane looking unsteady in the air. “The plane had lost balance, and then we saw it going down,” he said, adding that he heard the crash.
Officials at first thought it was a small plane, but later revised that. George said 146 passengers were on the flight along with six crew members.
Raheel Ahmed, a spokesman for the airline, said an investigation would be launched, but that for now the focus was to find survivors. The plane was no more than eight years old, and it had no known technical issues, Ahmed said. He added that to his knowledge, the pilots had not sent any emergency signals.
Airblue flies within Pakistan as well as internationally to the United Arab Emirates, Oman and the United Kingdom.
The only previous recorded accident for Airblue, a carrier that began flying in 2004, was a tailstrike in May 2008 at Quetta airport by one of the airline’s Airbus 321 jets. There were no casualties and damage was minimal, according to the U.S.-based Aviation Safety Network.
The Airbus 320 family of medium-range jets, which includes the 321 model that crashed Wednesday, is one of the most popular in the world, with about 4,000 jets delivered since deliveries began in 1988.
Twenty-one of the aircraft have been lost in accidents since then, according to the Aviation Safety Network’s database. The deadliest was a 2007 crash at landing in Sao Paolo by Brazil’s TAM airline, in which all 187 people on board perished, along with 12 others on the ground.
The last major plane crash in Pakistan was in July 2006 when a Fokker F-27 twin-engine aircraft operated by Pakistan International Airlines slammed into a wheat field on the outskirts of the central Pakistani city of Multan, killing all 45 people on board.
In August 1989, another PIA Fokker, with 54 people onboard, went down in northern Pakistan on a domestic flight. The plane’s wreckage was never found.
In September 1992, a PIA Airbus A300 crashed into a mountain in Nepal, killing all 167 people on board. Investigators found the plane was flying 1,500 feet lower than it reported as it approached the Katmandu airport.
Associated Press Aviation Writer Slobodan Lekic in Brussels, as well as AP Writers Ashraf Khan in Karachi and Zarar Khan in Islamabad contributed to this report.
Tags: Accidents, As-pakistan, Asia, Islamabad, Karachi, Pakistan, South Asia, Transportation, Tv News
July 28, 2010: 7:06 am
very sad news, no survivors all dead…