AT least 25 bodies have been recovered after a domestic passenger jet carrying 152 peoplecrashed into the hills surrounding Pakistan’s capital while preparing to land, officials say.
Rescuers were trying to reach the scene amid rain and difficult roads. An official confirmed at least five survivors were found and rescuers were hopeful of recovering more passengers from a fatal plane crash near the Pakistani capital Islamabad. Eight bodies including the pilot’s were recovered from the plane, which was carrying more than 150 passengers and crew.
The cause of the Airblue crash was not immediately clear, said Pervez George, a civil aviation official. He said the plane was flying from Karachi to Islamabad. “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.
Thick smoke could be seen rising from the densely wooded hills, where helicopters circled overheaded and rescue services dispatched ambulances to the nearest roads, an Agence France-Presse correspondent said. Pakistani news channels showed what appeared to be wreckage of the plane. Fire was visible and smoke was blowing up from the scene.
Airblue could not immediately be reached for comment. 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”. Mr George said 146 passengers were on the flight, along with six crew members.