Plane crashes in Pakistan with over 150 on board

A domestic passenger plane that crashed into the hills in Pakistan’s capital today was carrying 152 people, an official said.

Rescuers were trying to reach the scene of the Airblue plane crash on a rainy morning.

But the roads in the Margalla Hills area in Islamabad are difficult to navigate.

Officials at first thought it was a small plane. But police official Mohammed Saeed said later this morning that “it seems that it is a bigger tragedy”.

A Civil Aviation Authority official said 146 passengers were on the flight along with six crew members.

The exact cause of the crash was not immediately clear, said Pervez George, a civil aviation official.

He said the plane was flying from Karachi to Islamabad.

Pakistani news channels showed what appeared to be wreckage of the plane as a helicopter hovered above the heavily forested hills to assess the situation.

Fire was visible and smoke was blowing up from the scene.

Guards with the forestry service said they had found some wreckage and seen some bodies, police official Mohammad Saeed said. The army said it was sending special troops to the area to help out along with helicopters.

Mohammed Usman, an official at Benazir Bhutto International Airport, said dozens of relatives of passengers gathered there were crying and desperate to get information about their loved ones.

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 he heard the crash.

Airblue could not immediately be reached for comment.

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