A Pakistani passenger jet with 127 on board has crashed on landing near Islamabad on Friday. All passengers are feared dead, as the plane missed its landing in the middle of bad weather.
The plane was traveling from Pakistan’s largest city of Karachi to Islamabad, the nation’s capitol, when it went down in farmland only a few miles from Benzair Bhutto International Airport. Officials report that the capitol was experiencing a violent rain and windstorm when the crash occurred.
Defense Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhar reported that the plane was a Boeing 737-200, operated by Bhoja Air. One emergency official at the crash site, Saifur Rehman, told Geo TV that, “We can see the plane’s wreckage is on fire and we are trying to extinguish it…we are looking for survivors.”
Mukhar went on to explain that civil aviation officials do not expect to find survivors, as the wreckage appears to be extensive. The crash, which occurred at about 6:40pm Islamabad time, happened in a relatively unpopulated rural area. Although it is not yet clear if any casualties happened on the ground, officials believe it is unlikely.
Farhan Bokhari of CBS News reports that Bhoja Air has a poor safety record, leading many to wonder if it was a mechanical issue with the plane, or the bad weather that caused the fatal crash. An inquiry will soon be opened to determine the cause of the crash.
Pakistan’s worst plane crash in history took place in July 2010, when an Airbus A321 crashed in the hills above Islamabad, killing 152 people. The pilot was blamed following a government investigation. Reports stated that the pilot veered off course because of stormy weather.
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