A Pakistan International Airline (PIA) flight with 48 people onboard crashed near Abbotabbad on Wednesday evening enroute from Chitral to Islamabad.
All the passengers died in the accident. Among the dead were the renowned Pakistani singer-turned-scholar Junaid Jamshed and his wife. Jamshed had gone to Chitral to promulgate Islam as part of his ‘Tableegh’ mission.
Media reports claimed that 42 bodies have already been recovered from the crash site and 10 bodies are badly charred beyond recognition. Among the passengers were three foreigners. Religious scholar Junaid Jamshed’s purse has also reportedly been recovered from the crash site. The rescue teams have recovered Black Box also of the ill-fated plane.
More than 500 personnel of Pakistan Army are currently working to retrieve the bodies and help in other rescue operations.
Initial investigation report claimed that the ill-fated plane caught fire immediately after hitting the ground. It’s believed that one engine of the aircraft had malfunctioned.
“We deeply regret to announce that PIA aircraft ATR-42 (AP-BHO) crashed near Havelian at 1642 hrs PST today, 7th December 2016. No further details of the accident are available at the moment. 42 passengers, five crew members and one ground engineer were on board.
“Rescue efforts are underway and we are also ascertaining the extent of damage to life of those onboard the aircraft. PIA is doing everything possible to help the families of passengers and crew members for first hand information regarding the incident and damage. The crash site is near a small village called Saddha Batolni near Havelian,” PIA tweeted after the accident.