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Pakistan plane crash: Live updates

Written By Ali Awan on Friday, 20 April 2012 | 09:23

Pakistan plane crash: Live updates

ISLAMABAD: A Bhoja Airline's Islamabad-bound maiden flight # B4-213 has crashed near Chaklala airbase, Geo News reported.
According to sources, a Boeing 737 with 118 passengers and nine crew members on board, which flew from Karachi at 5:00 PM was supposed to land in Islamabad at 6:50 PM, but crashed just before touchdown.

According to sources in Civil Aviation Authority, the flight was given clearance to land but it lost contact with the control tower at 6:40 PM.

Rescuers say the plane's wreck was ablaze when they arrived at the site with mangled dead bodies, severed body parts, burnt luggage, and small parts of the fuselage strewn over all over the place in roughly one square kilometer area.

Saifur Rehman, an official from the police rescue team said the plane came down in Hussain Abad village, about three kilometers (two miles) from the main Islamabad highway.

"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 local resident told Geo News, the plane was already on fire in the midair and seemed like a ball of fire coming at us.

An expert said that it appeared as if the aircraft was struck by a lightning bolt as the electrical activity in the thunderclouds above was in full swing, which may have caused the crash.

The plane fell on top of houses in the village toppling many building before hitting the ground, said eyewitnesses.

Local residents have also volunteered in the rescue work.

Many dead bodies have been carried away to safety in a nearby building.

“Owing to nightfall as well as a heavy overcast, it’s pitch black out there, making rescue work extremely difficult”, rescuers said.

Reportedly Bhoja Airlines had bought this 27.4 years old aircraft from Shaheen Airlines after it was scrapped by the latter for its compromised flight-worthiness.

Ministry of Defence and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have confirmed the reports of crash.

Inclement weather has been held responsible for the crash.

Rescue teams including Pakistan army personnel have rushed to the crash site.

Bhoja Airline officials are yet unavailable for comments.

All hospitals in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi have been put on high alert after the crash.

In July 2010, 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, killing 152 people on board.


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