Written By Ali Awan on Friday, 20 April 2012 | 09:12
Plane crash near Chaklala kills 127: Defence Ministry
ISLAMABAD: A passenger plane of Bhoja Airline on Friday crashed near Chaklala airbase due to bad weather, killing around 118 passengers, Defence Ministry announced.
Private television channels reported that all hospitals in Islamabad and the nearby city of Rawalpindi had been put on high alert after the crash.
The Boeing 737 was carrying around 127 passengers from Karachi and was destined for Islamabad, according to initial reports by Civil Aviation Authority (CAA.)
Witnesses close to the Bahria Town residential complex near the airport say emergency vehicles can be seen in the area.
A violent rain and wind storm was lashing parts of the capital around the same time as the crash, said an aviation official, adding lightening might have caused the plane to catch fire.
AFP adds: Saifur Rehman, an official from the police rescue team said the plane came down in Hussain Abad village, about three kilometres (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 a private television channel.
“There is no chance of any survivors. It will be only a miracle. The plane is totally destroyed,” police officer Fazle Akbar said.
An airport source said that flight number B4-213 of Bhoja Airline was due to land at Islamabad airport at 6:50 pm (1350 GMT) but lost contact with the control tower at 6:40 pm and crashed shortly afterwards before reaching the runway.
Plane crashes are relatively rare in Pakistan, where inter-city travel is most efficient by air.
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.