At least 45 killed in Pakistan plane crash

At least 45 killed in Pakistan plane crash

At least 45 people have been killed as a passenger jet crashed in Pakistan today, government officials said.

The bodies have been recovered from the site of the plane crash in the hills surrounding the capital Islamabad. At least five others have been found alive but wounded.

Ramzan Sajid, the spokesman for the Capital Development Authority, said rescuers are continuing to search the wreckage for additional dead and wounded.

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear, said Pervez George, a civil aviation official. He said the Airblue Airbus 321, flight number ED202, had left the southern city of Karachi at 7.45am for a two-hour scheduled flight to Islamabad and was trying to land during heavy rain. Airblue is a private service based in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city.

“The plane was about to land at the Islamabad airport when it lost contact with the control tower, and later we learned that the plane had crashed,” Mr George said.

Guards with the forestry service found the plane and Pakistani news channels showed what appeared to be wreckage as a helicopter hovered above the heavily forested hills to assess the situation. Fire was visible and smoke was blowing up from the scene. The army said it was sending special troops to the area to help out along with helicopters.

Saqlain Altaf told Pakistan’s ARY news channel that he was on a family outing in the hills when he saw the plane looking unsteady in the air. “The plane had lost balance, and then we saw it going down,” he said, adding that he heard the crash.

Officials at first thought it was a small plane, but later revised that. Mr George said 146 passengers were on the flight along with six crew.

Raheel Ahmed, a spokesman for the airline, said an investigation would be launched, but that for now the focus was to find survivors. The plane was no more than eight years old, and it had no known technical issues, Mr Ahmed said. He added that to his knowledge, the pilots had not sent any emergency signals.

Airblue flies within Pakistan as well as internationally to the United Arab Emirates, Oman and the UK.

The only previous recorded accident for Airblue, a carrier that began flying in 2004, was a tailstrike in May 2008 at Quetta airport by another Airbus 321 jet. There were no casualties and damage was minimal, according to the US-based Aviation Safety Network.

The Airbus 320 family of medium-range jets, which includes the 321 model that crashed Wednesday, is one of the most popular in the world, with about 4,000 jets delivered since deliveries began in 1988.

Twenty-one of the aircraft have been lost in accidents since then, according to the Aviation Safety Network’s database.

More on this topic

Radio DJ to begin podcast series highlighting how stroke can hit at any ageRadio DJ to begin podcast series highlighting how stroke can hit at any age

Frequent long sleepers and nappers ‘at increased risk of stroke’Frequent long sleepers and nappers ‘at increased risk of stroke’

Number of women dying from stroke dramatically down since 2010, still higher than male ratesNumber of women dying from stroke dramatically down since 2010, still higher than male rates

Stroke treatment access at CUH to increaseStroke treatment access at CUH to increase

More in this Section

East Africa hit by most serious locust outbreak in 25 yearsEast Africa hit by most serious locust outbreak in 25 years

Farage accuses Government of being embarrassed by Brexit over Big Ben farceFarage accuses Government of being embarrassed by Brexit over Big Ben farce

Louvre closed amid strikes over pension plans in ParisLouvre closed amid strikes over pension plans in Paris

Tommy Robinson video admissible in football banning order case – judgeTommy Robinson video admissible in football banning order case – judge


Lifestyle

They have absolutely nothing really to do with Jerusalem or indeed with any type of artichoke, so what exactly are these curious little tubers?Currabinny Cooks: Exploring the versatility of Jerusalem artichokes

Arlene Harris talks to three women who have stayed on good terms with their ex.The ex-factor: Three women on staying friends with their former partner

A child sleep expert outlines simple things to do during the day to help children settle better at night.10 clever daytime hacks to help your child get a good night’s sleep

Isabel Conway unveils the top travel trends for the year ahead.The travel trends for 2020: From the ‘skip-gen’ vacation to vegan breaks

More From The Irish Examiner