Almost 130 feared dead in Pakistan air crash
Pilot was preparing to land when the plane crashed in bad weather on farmland near capital
A plane with 127 people on board crashed in bad weather near Pakistan's capital Islamabad yesterday – there are no reports of survivors.
Defence minister Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhar told reporters the Boeing 737-200 from Karachi was preparing to land when it came down around 6.30pm local time on farmland a few miles from Islamabad's Benazir Bhutto International Airport.
Television images showed heavy rains and wind lashing the crash site near Hussain Abad village, near Bahria town.
Witnesses, who reported to hearing a loud bang, also said they believed the Bhoja Airlines plane, which had 118 passengers and nine crew on board, was already in flames when it crashed.
Emergency services teams have been working overnight in the dark with many using flashlights to comb the area.
Parts of the plane, including a wing and engine, were found up against a small building. Bodies are also reported to be strewn over a large area. Officials said they doubted there would be any survivors. "We can see the plane's wreckage is on fire and we are trying to extinguish it. We are looking for survivors," said emergency services official Saifur Rehman, according to Associated Press new agency. It is likely to take investigators weeks to determine the cause of the crash.
One report suggested the plane was at least 40 years old and had previously been the focus of safety concerns. It said Bhoja Airlines had bought the aircraft from Shaheen Airlines. The latter was reported to have allegedly scrapped it after it was deemed unworthy.
According to Associated Press, Bhoja Airlines started domestic operations in Pakistan in 1993 and eventually expanded to international flights to the United Arab Emirates in 1998. But the airline suspended its operations more than 10 years ago, in 2001, due to financial problems. It had only re-opened again last month.
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 area of the hillside and scattering wreckage over a mile. Most bodies were so badly damaged that identification required DNA testing.
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...