April 21st, 2012 09:41 EST
Plane Crash Kills 127 in Pakistan
A Pakistani passenger aircraft, of Karachi-based Bhoja Airlines, with 127 people on board crashed near Islamabad airport on Friday evening.
Television reports say that the ill-fated Boeing 737 flew from Karachi at 5.00 pm, was supposed to land in Islamabad at 6.40 pm, but crashed due to inclement weather while making its final approach at the Islamabad airport.
The plane was flying from Karachi to Islamabad. Emergency medical and rescue teams have rushed to the crash site.
Reports suggest that the plane that crashed was 20 years old, while some reports say that it was 30 years old. The aircraft had been bought by Bhoja Airlines from Shaheen Airlines.
Apparently, Shaheen Airlines had scrapped this very aircraft as it was no longer airworthy.
While the authorities say that the aircraft crashed due to bad weather, the defence minister said that the possibility of the plane having burst into flames before it hit the ground could not be ruled out.
Eyewitnesses on television however claimed that they a fireball hurtling towards the ground, indicating that was already on fire before it crashed.
The plane crashed in a crowded area and many buildings were hit by the plane`s wings as it crashed, but no casualties have been reported from the ground as yet.
Authorities meanwhile added that the chances of anyone surviving the crash are remote.
Saifur Rehman, from a police rescue team, said the plane came down in Hussain Abad village, two miles from the main Islamabad highway.
Reports reaches to Agence India Press that the Islamabad-bound plane came down at Lohi Bher area, a few kilometres from the capital city. It was coming from the port city of Karachi.
The Boeing-737 crashed on houses, causing fires.
The accident took place near Chaklala airbase in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, Local Channel reported.
According to sources, the Boeing 737, which flew from Karachi at 5.00 p.m., was supposed to land in Islamabad at 6.40 p.m. but crashed just before touchdown.
Confirming the crash report, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said rescue teams, including army personnel, have rushed to the accident site.
Aviation expert Razaullah Khan said that from the pieces of the plane debris it could be assumed that the plane hit the ground with very heavy impact. He said that this could only be possible if the plane came under a great cloud pressure. Bhoja Airlines officials were unavailable for comment.
The last major plane crash in the country and Pakistan`s worst ever occurred in July 2010 when an Airbus A321 aircraft operated by Airblue crashed in the hills overlooking Islamabad, killing all 152 people on board.
A government investigation blamed the pilot for veering off course in stormy weather. The impact of the crash was devastating, scorching a wide swath of the hillside and scattering wreckage over a half-mile stretch. Most bodies were so badly damaged that identification required DNA testing.
(AIP News: http://agenceindiapress.com)