Islamabad: The ill-fated Pakistan International Airlines(PIA) flight carrying at least 48 people crashed en route to Islamabad from the northern city of Chitral on Wednesday.
There are unlikely any survivors. Eight women and two infants were among those dead, apart from five crew members and a ground engineer.
Pakistani media reported that famous singer Junaid Jamshed and his wife were in the flight and are feared dead. Pakistan’s former cricket captain Saeed Anwar had a narrow escape with a relative saying he was due to return on the flight but did not board it.
The national flag carrier confirmed in a statement that Flight PK-661 had lost contact with air traffic controllers this afternoon while it was in the mountainous Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. A distress call was sent to the control tower… then the crash was reported,” Daniyal Gilani, PIA spokesperson, said, adding that the plane, nearly 10 years old, was in good condition. The plane fell into a canal behind the mountains.
Laiq Shah, a senior police official in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, told by telephone that the plane had crashed in that region, near the town of Havelian.
Rescue operation started right after the crash. By Wednesday night, 21 bodies were recovered. The rough terrain without any road access, nightfall, and cold weather hampered rescue operations and ambulances were unable to reach the site.
Probe launched into the crash. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) blames it on engine failure.