All 152 aboard Passed Away in Islamabad plane
July 28, 2010 by staff
All 152 aboard Passed Away in Islamabad plane, ISLAMABAD, A passenger plane from a private plane carrying 152 people crashed in a ball of flames Wednesday in heavily forested hills outside Islamabad amid heavy rain and poor visibility, killing all aboard.
Rescue officials said pieces of burnt flesh and body parts were covered around the smoldering remains partially buried in a remote hill, in the worst crash of a Pakistani airliner in 18 years.
Private flight airline Airblue Karachi ED 202 was being diverted to land at the airport in Islamabad Benazir Bhutto International when witnesses saw flying at an unusually low altitude before defeaning boom.
The plane disintegrated in a gorge between two hills, enveloped in clouds and some distance from the road, severely hampering rescue efforts and limit the visibility of helicopters hovering overhead.
“I saw a big ball of smoke and fire everywhere with large pieces of aircraft rolling down the hill,” said police officer Haji Gul Taj.
“The plane was flying very low. Then we heard a loud noise,” said Wajih-ur Rehman, a resident of the upscale E-7 in the Margalla hills, home to Western expatriates and part of the elite of Pakistan.
“Nobody survived,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik said. The bodies were mutilated and above all to pieces, and requiring the identification, he said.
The civil aviation authority said there were 152 Airblue, including six crew members on board the aircraft lost.
Zeeshan Haider, an official of the Civil Aviation Authority said seven children, including two children, were on the flight manifest.
Reports had said a handful of people survived the disaster, but asked if all people on board were killed Malik said, “Yes, they are all dead.”
“It’sa great tragedy. It’s really a great tragedy,” said the minister.
The U.S. embassy said two Americans were on the flight.
“I can confirm that there were two U.S. citizens on the plane and are working with the Pakistani authorities as we normally do in cases like this,” said embassy spokesman Richard Snelsire a foreign news agency.
Officials said air traffic control diverted the plane on its final approach, due to rain and thick cloud – out of the normal route for aircraft flying from the southern port city of Karachi.
The civil aviation authority said all would be investigated possible causes, including t*rror*sm and bad weather, but officials gave no indication that an attack could have been the culprit.
“The research teams will test all the possible reasons behind the crash, ranging from bad weather to t*rror*sm,” said Riaz-ul-Haq, deputy director of the authority.
Rescue official said Arshad Javed gruesome scene at the crash site after a routine daily flight went to the butcher.
“All we could see were burnt hands or feet. I picked up two heads, two legs and two hands into a bag.
“We yelled if anyone was alive, but heard no voice,” he said.
“The wreckage is buried under the rubble. Early machines go to work there to remove debris from the hill and then we can remove the bodies or survivors – if there are any.”
Police said the remains were scattered in three directions.
“The bodies were found in pieces. We have found equipment which may be the black box. Now the experts will examine it,” said the chief of police of the city of Bani Amin.
The government declared a day of national mourning and suspended a cabinet meeting as Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani expressed his regret over the incident “tragic” and offered prayers for the dead.
Distraught families were crying after hearing about the disaster waiting to join his family in the arrivals of Islamabad.
“We can not explain our agony, we do not know if he’s alive,” said Bilal Haider, who had come to pick up his younger brother Abbas returned from a trip to Karachi for a job interview.
The Airbus 321 took off from Karachi Airpblue before 8:00 am (0300 GMT).
“There was no technical failure on the plane when it took off,” he said.
The Airbus was a single aisle aircraft was a relatively young 10 years, and European airline to offer full assistance to Pakistani investigators.
Airblue has only been operating since 2004, using the new Airbus A320s and A321s on domestic routes and international services to Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Manchester.
Pakistan has a history of relatively good air safety.
The last fatal accident was a commercial Pakistan International Airlines Fokker F27 that came down in July 2006, killing 45 people in the departure of the central city of Multan, bound for Lahore.
The worst civilian air disaster, as a reaction to Pakistan was a PIA Airbus A300 crashed into a hill covered with clouds on its approach to the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, killing 167 people in September 1992.
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