Passenger Plane Crashes in Islamabad; 152 On Board (Dawn.com)

aku berita2 mcm ni la yang agak mengerikan kat sini

airbus ni lalu betul2 atas office aku pagi tadi. mmg cuaca foggy sesangat

pagi tadi mmg hujan renyai. tapi pelik plak kenapa la flight ni flying rendah sangat

boleh nampak crash scene from office aku ni. mmg scary la mcm ni lepas ni kan.

source here

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ISLAMABAD: A passenger plane crashed in the Margalla Hills in Islamabad on Wednesday, reports said.

At least 152 people were on board the ABQ-202, said Pervez George, a civil aviation official.

The 152 included 146 passengers along with six crew members, George said.

Rescue workers arrived at the scene and managed to pull out four injured passengers from under the rubble.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said five injured people were recovered from the site and were rushed to a hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, Imtiaz Inayat, a senior Islamabad municipal official, told a private television channel up to five bodies had been recovered from the site of the crash.

“Several bodies are lying in the area. Four or five bodies have been taken,” Inayat said.

Separately, Imtiaz Elahi, chairman of the Capital Development Authority, said: We have sent fire engines to the site, so far five dead bodies have been recovered.

“We are gathering information. We have no more details,” said Mubarik Shah, a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority.

The plane was flying from Karachi to Islamabad and the exact cause of the crash was not immediately clear.

The aircraft had lost contact with the control tower during the crash which occurred amid thick fog and heavy rainfall in Islamabad.

Guards with the forestry service said they had found some wreckage and seen some bodies, police official Mohammad Saeed said. The army said it was sending special troops to the area to help out along with helicopters.

Mohammed Usman, an official at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport said dozens of relatives of passengers gathered there were crying and desperate to get information about their loved ones.

One Saqlain Altaf told a private television news channel that he was on a family outing in the hills when he saw the plane, looking unsteady in the air.

”The plane had lost balance, and then we saw it going down,” he said, adding he heard the crash.

Thick clouds of smoke were rising from the Margalla Hills.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani ordered authorities to control the fire immediately and rescue passengers.

Airblue could not immediately be reached for comment.

The airliner began operations in 2004 with a fleet of Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft, the company said on its website.

The plane that crashed on Wednesday was also built by Airbus, the European planemaker said.

“We regret to confirm there has been an accident with an Airbus aircraft and we will provide more information when we have more confirmed data available,” Airbus spokesman Stefan Schaffrath said.

According to the latest available data published by Airbus, Airblue operates six aircraft from its A320 family of short-haul and medium-haul aircraft seating up to 185 passengers.

Forty-five people were killed when a passenger plane belonging to Pakistan International Airlines crashed near Multan in 2006.

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source here

Passenger Plane Crashes Near Pakistani Capital

By KEVIN DREW
Published: July 28, 2010

There was no immediate information on survivors.

The plane was operated by Airblue and was arriving from Karachi, according to The Associated Press.

Television footage showed clouds of smoke rising from the heavy forests of the Margalla Hills near Islamabad, where the plane was believed to have crashed. Helicopters were flying above what appeared to be a crash site as rescue crews arrived. Flames were visible from the area but it was not clear whether they were from the wreckage of the aircraft or trees that caught fire as the plane went down. The Margalla Hills are just north of Islamabad.

Grief-stricken relatives of survivors were seen gathered at Islamabad’s airport awaiting word on survivors.

The plane was an Airbus A321 and was carrying 146 passengers and six crew members, Pervez George, a local civil aviation official, told Dawn television. Mr. George was quoted by Dawn as saying the plane lost contact with the control tower in Islamabad and crashed amid thick fog and heavy rainfall in Islamabad.

NDTV, an Indian television broadcaster, reported from Islamabad that a woman saw the plane pass over her house just before the crash. The plane disappeared and she heard a loud explosion, she said.

“I don’t think they could see where they were going,” she said. “It went over my house. You could actually see that it was flying very low.”

The immediate focus would be on finding survivors, but an investigation would be launched, Airblue spokesman Raheel Ahmed told The Associated Press.

Airblue offers flights within Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates, as well as to Oman, Muscat and Manchester in Great Britain.

There was no immediate information on survivors.

The plane was operated by Airblue and was arriving from Karachi, according to The Associated Press.

Television footage showed clouds of smoke rising from the heavy forests of the Margalla Hills near Islamabad, where the plane was believed to have crashed. Helicopters were flying above what appeared to be a crash site as rescue crews arrived. Flames were visible from the area but it was not clear whether they were from the wreckage of the aircraft or trees that caught fire as the plane went down. The Margalla Hills are just north of Islamabad.

Grief-stricken relatives of survivors were seen gathered at Islamabad’s airport awaiting word on survivors.

The plane was an Airbus A321 and was carrying 146 passengers and six crew members, Pervez George, a local civil aviation official, told Dawn television. Mr. George was quoted by Dawn as saying the plane lost contact with the control tower in Islamabad and crashed amid thick fog and heavy rainfall in Islamabad.

NDTV, an Indian television broadcaster, reported from Islamabad that a woman saw the plane pass over her house just before the crash. The plane disappeared and she heard a loud explosion, she said.

“I don’t think they could see where they were going,” she said. “It went over my house. You could actually see that it was flying very low.”

The immediate focus would be on finding survivors, but an investigation would be launched, Airblue spokesman Raheel Ahmed told The Associated Press.

Airblue offers flights within Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates, as well as to Oman, Muscat and Manchester in Great Britain.

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source here

Wednesday July 28, 2010

Pakistan jet with 152 on board crashes; few survivors

By Augustine Anthony

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – A commercial Pakistani passenger plane with 152 people on board crashed in bad weather in hills near Islamabad on Wednesday, and officials said there were so far no survivors.

Smoke rises from the wreckage of a passenger plane which has crashed in The Margalla Hills on the outskirts of Islamabad July 28, 2010. (REUTERS/Mian Khursheed)

At least 20 people were confirmed dead when the Airbus 321, belonging to private airline Airblue, crashed in heavy rain while flying from the southern port city of Karachi. Rescue efforts are continuing, officials said.

“So far, we have not found any survivors,” Imtiaz Elahi, chairman of the state-run Capital Development Authority, a city municipal body, told Reuters.

He said earlier reports that five survivors had been pulled from the wreckage were wrong.

Rescuers said they had to dig through the rubble with their bare hands, with fire and thick smoke hampering their work. The crash site, on a steep and heavily wooded hill, has no roads, limiting access to pedestrians and helicopters.

“You find very few intact bodies. Basically, we are collecting bodies parts and putting them in bags,” Bin Yameen, senior officer in the Islamabad police, told Reuters from the scene of the crash.

“I don’t know what exact death toll but one can imagine how many could survive in such a bad situation.

“Bodies are being lifted through helicopters.”

The plane lost contact with the control room of the Islamabad International Airport at 0443 GMT. It was carrying 146 passengers and six crew members.

A thick blanket of cloud and smoke caused by fire could be seen rising from the crash site. A helicopter hovered overhead and flames licked at trees and what appeared to be wreckage from the plane, television pictures showed.

“We are removing wreckage with our hands. There is fire. There’s smoke, which has made the rescue job very difficult,” Bin Yameen said.

The crash site is on the Margalla Hills facing Islamabad, about 300 meters (yards) up the side of the hills. Smoke was visible from some districts of the city, and crowds of onlookers lined the streets pointing and watching the smoke rise from the green hills.

“It was raining. I saw the plane flying very low from the window of my office,” witness Khadim Hussain said.

Pakistan’s AAJ television showed rescue workers making their way on foot to the crash site with some difficulty. A young man was weeping and being embraced by another man.

The military said it had sent three helicopters to the site and troops had also been moved there.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani ordered authorities to control the fire immediately and rescue passengers.

Officials at the British and U.S. embassies in Islamabad said they were trying to confirm if any of their nationals had been onboard the crashed plane.

HEAVY RAINS

There had been heavy monsoon rains in the area for at least a couple of days.

Airblue began operations in 2004 with a fleet of Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft, according to its website www.airblue.com.

Spokesman Raheel Ahmed said this was the first crash for the airline and that an investigation was being launched.

“It’s too early to speculate,” he said about the cause of the crash. “The civil aviation authorities will also be involved.”

Airbus confirmed one of its planes was involved in the Airblue crash.

“We regret to confirm there has been an accident with an Airbus aircraft and we will provide more information when we have more confirmed data available,” said Airbus spokesman Stefan Schaffrath.

At Islamabad’s international airport, passengers in the departure lounge scanned the television screens for news.

“I’m not surprised something like this has happened,” said Ahmed Fairuz, a passenger awaiting departure. “The weather is just too bad for flying.”

Aviation industry sources in Europe said the aircraft was leased from International Lease Finance Corp, the leasing unit of U.S. insurance giant AIG

Los Angeles-based ILFC was not available for comment and there was no immediate confirmation of these details.

The A321 is the largest of the A320 family of single-aisle jets produced by EADS subsidiary Airbus. This particular type of aircraft, which can seat up to 185 passengers, has been in service since 1994.

Forty-five people were killed when a passenger plane belonging to Pakistan International Airlines crashed near the central city of Multan in 2006.

(Additional reporting by Kamran Haider, Zeeshan Haider and Chris Allbritton in ISLAMABAD; Tim Hepher in PARIS; Writing by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

Copyright © 2010 Reuters

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