PAK Air Bus from Karachi to Islamabad with 152 Passengers crashes : All dead

3:53 PM, Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

ISLAMABAD: (Provisional News) The black box of the plane which crashed in the northeast part of the Pakistani capital Islamabad Wednesday morning has been found and is being decoded by the Pakistani air forces, reported local media.

At about 10:00 am local time Wednesday morning, an airbus 320 with flight number ED-202 carrying 152 people including six crew members crashed in the Margalla Hills lying to the northeast part of Islamabad minutes before it was supposed to land at the capital ‘s airport.
The plane, which belonged to a local private airliner named Airblue, was on its way from Turkey to Islamabad via Karachi. It took off from the Karachi International Airport at about 7:50 am local time Wednesday morning.
The plane lost the contact with the control tower of the Islamabad airport at about 9:43 am local time before the crash. Before the crash, the control tower of the Islamabad airport has reportedly given the approval for the plane to land at the airport.
Among all the people aboard, there were reportedly 20 women and five children.
So far 40 people have been confirmed dead in the crash, according to a senior official with the Capital Development Authority, the de-fact municipal government of the Islamabad city which is charge of the rescue work.
Among the dead bodies recovered from the site which is still on fire and surrounded by smoke, the dead body of the pilot has been identified.
No foreigners have been found on the passenger name list released shortly after the plane crash, sources told Xinhua after talking on the telephone to the Airblue airliner which the crashed plane belonged to.
The Chinese Embassy to Pakistan told Xinhua that no Chinese citizens were aboard the plane after it had confirmed with the Pakistani Interior Ministry.
Hundreds of people including troops, police, firemen, doctors and local residents are fighting the rains and difficult terrains in the Margalla Hills where the plane crashed to join the research and rescue operation.
A whole battalion of troops in addition to seven military helicopters are involved in the rescue work.
The crash site is deep in the mountains and rescue workers had to walk over an hour to reach the site, said sources on the site, adding that rescue workers had to cut down trees to build the pads for the landing of helicopters to lift the victims out of the crash site.
While giving first-aid treatment to the survivors found on the spot, the rescue team is shifting these survivors to different hospitals in Islamabad. All the hospitals in the capital city have declared emergency following the plane crash.
Two zoo keepers who happened to be nearby the site where the plane crashed told Xinhua that they saw the plane taking very low flight brushing the trees on the ground and the pilots were trying desperately to take the nose up but failed. The landing gears of the plane were put on before it crashed, they said.
The Pakistani prime minister has ordered the military to conduct an investigation into the accident immediately following the tragedy. At a later stage, the government announced one-day mourning for the victims in the plane crash.
Large crowds of relatives and friends planned to receive their loved ones taking the flight at the Islamabad airport were shocked upon hearing the news and many of them burst into tears. Some of the relatives of the victims have rushed to the crash site but were stopped by the police who are cordoning off the area.
So far the reason for the crash is not known yet despite the fact that the black box of the plane has been found. It could be related to bad weather as it was raining heavily in Islamabad when the plane crashed. Many flights coming into Islamabad have reportedly been canceled due to bad weather.
The possibility of terrorism can not be ruled out as the terrorist groups in Pakistan have repeatedly threatened to blow up airplanes during the last month or so.
In another development, there were 11 people who missed the plane at the Karachi airport reportedly escaped from the disaster.

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