Pakistan plane crash claims 130
Up to 130 people were feared dead after a Boeing 737 crashed while
trying to land in bad weather near the Pakistani capital Islamabad
yesterday, officials said.
The Bhoja airline flight from Karachi came down outside Islamabad’s
international airport, police official Fazle Akbar said, adding that
emergency teams have been sent to the site.
“There is no chance of any survivors. It will be only a miracle. The
plane is totally destroyed,” he told AFP from the crash site.
There were conflicting reports about how many people were on board
A senior Defence Ministry official said initial reports suggested
there were 126 people on board, Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority said
it was carrying 121 passengers and nine crew, while the chief of
Islamabad police Bani Amin told AFP from the crash site that 127 were on
Asked if there were any survivors, the Defence Ministry official
said: “So far there is no good news.”
Saifur Rehman, an official from the police rescue team said the plane
came down in Hussain Abad village, about three kilometres from the main
“Fire erupted after the crash. The wreckage is on fire, the plane is
completely destroyed. We have come with teams of firefighters and
searchlights and more rescuers are coming,” Rehman told Geo television.
A military official said army rescue teams with ambulances and
special equipment had been dispatched to the scene.
An airport source said the plane had been due to land at Islamabad
airport at 6:50 pm but lost contact with the control tower at 6:40pm and
crashed shortly afterwards before reaching the runway.
Bhoja Air relaunched domestic operations with a fleet of five 737s in
March, according to newspaper reports, when the airline was planning to
start flights connecting Karachi, Sukkur, Multan, Lahore and Islamabad.
Bhoja had been grounded in 2000 by the Civil Aviation Authorities
amid financial difficulties, the reports said.
The worst aviation tragedy on Pakistani soil came in July 2010 when
an Airbus 321 passenger jet operated by the private airline Airblue
crashed into hills overlooking Islamabad while coming in to land after a
flight from Karachi.
All 152 people on board were killed in the accident, which occurred
amid heavy rain and poor visibility.
The deadliest civilian plane crash involving a Pakistani jet came in
1992 when a PIA Airbus A300 crashed into a cloud-covered hillside on its
approach to the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, killing 167 people. - AFP