127 feared dead in Pakistani passenger death crash
Friday 20 April 2012
A Pakistani passenger jet with 127 people on board crashed into wheat
fields today as it was trying to land in bad weather at an airport near
the capital, Islamabad, officials said. Sobbing relatives of those on
the flight flocked to the airport as a government minister expressed
little hope of finding survivors.
Emergency workers and bystanders used flashlights to search among smoldering wreckage and body parts for any sign of life at the crash site, which was just a few kilometers away from the Benazir Bhutto International Airport.
The aircraft was a Boeing 737-200 operated by Bhoja Air, a domestic carrier that has just four planes and only resumed operations last month after suspending them in 2001 due to financial difficulties. The flight was traveling from the country's largest city of Karachi to the Pakistani capital, officials said.
Relatives of those on the flight thronged Bhoja Air counters at Karachi and Islamabad airports, crying.
One man said on television that two of the passengers, Sajjad Rizvi and Sania Abbas, were newlyweds flying to Islamabad for their honeymoon.
Defense Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhar said civil aviation officials had reported it was unlikely anybody had survived.
It was unclear if any casualties occurred on the ground, but the crash happened in what appeared to be a relatively unpopulated rural area.
A violent rain and wind storm was lashing parts of the capital around the same time as the crash, which occurred about 6:40 pm.
"The plane crashed a few hundred yards away," said Mohammad Zubair, who was threshing wheat. "The flames leapt up like they were touching the sky."
TV footage showed wreckage of the plane, including parts of what looked like its engine and wing, up against the wall of a small building. Rescue officials were working in the dark, with many using flashlights as they combed the area.
The last major plane crash in the country — and Pakistan's worst ever — occurred in July 2010 when an Airbus A321 aircraft operated by Airblue crashed in the hills overlooking Islamabad, killing all 152 people on board.
A government investigation blamed the pilot for veering off course amid stormy weather. The impact of the crash was devastating, scorching a wide swath of the hillside and scattering wreckage over a kilometer (half-mile) stretch. Most bodies were so badly damaged that identification will require DNA testing.
Bhoja Air started domestic operations in Pakistan in 1993 and eventually expanded to international flights to the United Arab Emirates in 1998. The company suspended operations in 2001 due to financial difficulties but resumed them in 2012.
- 1 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 2 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Hacking Trial: Rebekah Brooks, Raisa and a new twist in the saga of a horse fit for a Prime Minister
Israel-Gaza conflict: Palestinian death toll now exceeds 500 – but Israel fights on
Income tax league: Revealed - the UK towns where people pay the most and least tax
Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Blogger captures footage ‘showing BUK missile launcher that shot down jet’ now back in Russia
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...
Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...
£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...
£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire