45 killed in Pakistan plane crash

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The Independent Online

All 45 passengers and crew on a Pakistan International Airlines passenger plane were killed today when it crashed soon after take-off on a domestic flight in eastern Pakistan.

The Fokker F-27 twin-engine aircraft slammed in flames into a wheat field on the outskirts of the city of Multan, two or three minutes after take-off, spiralling in the air before it hit the ground, witnesses said.

"All 41 passengers and four crew members onboard the plane have died," said Iftikhar Babar, the district co-ordination officer for Multan.

Malik Bashir, PIA's station manager at Multan airport, confirmed there were no survivors. He said the cause of the crash was not yet known. He said the plane took off normally.

"Whatever happened to it was after take-off," he said.

"The plane has burned completely and bodies are being pulled out of the wreckage."