Plane Crashes Near Islamabad With 129 on Board

LAHORE: A passenger plane carrying 129 people on board has crashed due to bad weather near the Chaklala Airbase in Rawalpindi, the twin city of Pakistani capital Islamabad, on Friday.

Bhoja Airline’s flight # B4-213 was on its maiden journey from Karachi to Islamabad. The fateful plane had 123 passengers and 6 crew members on board and it had to land in Islamabad at 6:50 PM (Pakistan Standard Time).

The Boeing 737 flew from Karachi at 5:00 PM PST and crashed in Hussain Abad village, a suburban area near the Islamabad highway, at 6:40 PM after losing its contact with the control tower.

The plane was completely destroyed and it torn into pieces, the eyewitnesses said.

The rescue teams of Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy, Rescue 1122 and police reached the site soon after the crash and recovered at least 110 bodies. “Rescuers say the plane’s wreck was ablaze when they arrived at the site with mangled dead bodies, severed body parts, burnt luggage, and small parts of the fuselage strewn over all over the place in roughly one square kilometer area,” reported a local television channel.

The rescuers claim that the Black Box has also been recovered.

“An expert said that it appeared as if a lightning bolt struck the aircraft as the electrical activity in the thunderclouds above was in full swing, which may have caused the crash,” a local news channel reported.

President Zardari has ordered to arrange a chartered plane to bring the relatives of the plane crash victims from Karachi to Islambad.

An inquiry committee has been formed under the headship of retired Group Captain Mujahid ul Islam, while an emergency cell of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has also been established.

Reportedly, the fateful aircraft was over 27 years old and was bought from another airlines company which has scrapped it.

Bhoja Airlines had been grounded in 2000 due to financial difficulties and it re-launched its operation in March this year.

In July 2010, a passenger plane of Airblue, which was carrying 152 people on board, crashed in the hills near Islamabad and all the people were killed in the accident. The accident occured due to bad weather.