Pattaya Daily News

28 July 2010 :: 16:07:48 pm 33728

Airblue Flight Crashes in Pakistan: Over 140 Feared Dead

An Airblue flight destined for Islamabad has crashed into a hillside just outside the capital on Wednesday. At present, rescue efforts have been hampered due to the remote location and inclement weather at the scene. No indication as the cause of the accident has been given.
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Pakistan, the 28th of July 2010: The plane, thought to be an Airblue Airbus A321 carrying 152 passengers and crew, is thought to have suffered unknown technical difficulties shortly before the crash. Witnesses at the scene reported seeing the aircraft flying extremely low and “off balance” prior to the accident.

Officials in the region report that rescue teams have uncovered the bodies of some 20 people, while three are thought to have been taken to hospital in a critical condition. Unconfirmed reports suggest that up to 8 people may have survived the devastating accident.

The plane came down in the Margalla Hills, north of the Pakistani capital. Images from national television networks show smouldering wreckage covering the foggy hillside. Weather conditions and the location of the aircraft, spread over a large area, have significantly hampered rescue efforts.

At the time of the incident, the skies were overcast and there was a heavy monsoon rain and thick fog in the area. The conditions had forced the cancellation of many flights over the preceding days, however, this flight from Karachi, a popular route, was allowed to continue.

Reportedly, the Airblue flight had lost contact with ground control shortly prior to the crash. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the flight, piloted by one of Airblue’s most experienced captains, was instructed to perform a “go-around” in the dire conditions. Excess traffic on the runway at Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad was cited as the reason.

Airblue spokesman, Raheel Ahmed, told reporters that the crash was “an extremely tragic incident. Our first priority is to find the survivors. The weather is not conducive for rescue but rescue teams have reached the spot,” he later added.

Airblue is a private carrier, the second largest airline in Pakistan, with over 30% of the domestic air travel market. The company, with only 7 aircraft in the fleet, operated the popular Karachi-Islamabad route three times per day.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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