No survivors in Pakistan plane crash

A Pakistani airliner has crashed into the wooded hills close to the Benazir Bhutto International airport outside Islamabad, killing all 152 people on board.

Reuters / Stringer

The cause of the crash is unknown, according to RFI’s correspondent Omar Waraich in Islamabad.

“The circumstances are still unclear,” says Waraich. “The black box has reportedly been uncovered. But authorities are saying that it will take some time to examine its contents.”

At the time of the crash, the hills were shrouded in fog.

Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik says no survivors were found after rescue teams searched the crash site amid charred bodies and plane debris.

Photo: Pia321/Wikimedia Commons

"It's a big tragedy. It's really a big tragedy," Malik said.

Witnesses saw the Airblue’s ED 202 en route from Karachi to Islamabad flying low above the hills before they heard a defeaning boom.

RFI correspondent Waraich says there are competing theories about what happened.

“The interior minister said the plane approached from a different direction than it was supposed to,” he said. “It also crashed several miles from the airport, leading to speculation that it was attempting to circle round again and approach Islamabad Airport from a fresh route amid thick fog and heavy rain.”

Initial reports said five survivors had been found but local officials later said these were wrong.

Rescue official Arshad Javed described horrifying scenes at the crash site on a remote hillside.

"All we could see were charred hands or feet. I collected two heads, two legs and two hands in a bag,” he said. "We shouted if anyone was there alive, but heard no voice," he said.

Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira told Dawn TV that the plane's black box flight data recorder had been found.

"Experts will analyse this and they will also analyse the conversation between the control tower and the pilot. After that we will be a position to say something about the cause of the crash," he said.


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