‘No survivors’ in Pakistan air crash
The plane carrying at least 40 passengers crashed in the Havelian area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province
None of the dozens of people on board a Pakistan International Airlines aircraft that crashed into a mountain in northern Pakistan on Wednesday survived the accident, the airline’s chairman said.
“There are no survivors, no one has survived,” Muhammad Azam Saigol told a press conference late on Wednesday, about five hours after flight PK661 from Chitral to the capital, Islamabad, crashed near the town of Havelian, in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
The airline had earlier announced 48 people were on board the aircraft.
Saigol said the ATR-42 aircraft had undergone regular maintenance and had in October passed an “A-check” certification, conducted after every 500 hours of flight operations.
“I think that there was no technical error or human error ... obviously there will be a proper investigation,” he said.
Images shown on Pakistani TV channels and circulated on social media showed a trail of wreckage engulfed in flames on a mountain slope.
Eyewitnesses earlier said that the PIA flight has crashed, the local Geo TV reported. PIA is the national carrier of Pakistan.
The local TV station said the plane with 47 passengers went missing from the radar near Havelian - a municipality in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province - while it was on its way to Islamabad.
The TV station said “the plane took off from Chitral around 3:00 pm [local time] but communication with the control tower was broken around 4:30 pm, shortly before it was about to arrive at its destination.”
Meanwhile, the airline’s spokesman Danyal Gilani said earlier the plane, carrying about 40 on board lost contact on Wednesday on a domestic flight from the northern city of Chitral to Islamabad.
He said the plane “has disappeared.” He said all resources are being mobilized to locate the plane.
(With AFP, AP)