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Friday, April 20, 2012

Plane crashes near Islamabad, 127 die

Bhoja Air's Maiden Flight Hit By Lightning?

Islamabad:ABoeing 737 with 127 people on board crashed into a residential area on Friday as it tried to land in Islamabad in a wild thunderstorm. The debris of the plane, which hit several buildings before it crashed, 
was strewn over a large area near Rawalpindi's Chaklala airbase and officials said there was little hope of finding any survivors. 
    The carrier, Bhoja Air, had recently restarted operations after closing down due financial problems a decade back, and Flight B4-213 was its maiden trip from Karachi to Islamabad, Pakistan's Geo TV reported. It is reported to have bought the aircraft from Shaheen Airlines which had discarded it due to its lack of flight-worthiness. 
    The channel quoted unnamed sources as saying the plane had 118 passengers and nine crew members on board. The flight had taken off from Karachi at 5.00pm (5.30pm IST) and was scheduled to land in Islamabad around two hours later. 
    One man said on television that two of the passengers, Sajjad Rizvi and Sania Abbas, were newlyweds flying to Islamabad for their honeymoon. 
Bhoja Air flight from Karachi crashes 
while trying to land in bad weather just a few km from Islamabad 
Flight hit several buildings before crashing. One expert feels it may have been hit by lightning 
Airline Woes 
Bhoja Air started domestic ops in Pak in 1993. Suspended work in 2001 due to financial difficulties 
It relaunched domestic ops with just four 737s in March 2012 
Reportedly bought aircraft discarded due to lack of air-worthiness Storm-hit Pak plane crashed in a ball of fire 
Islamabad: Pakistan civil aviation authority sources said the Bhoja Air flight which crashed on Friday was given clearance to land but it lost contact with the control tower 10 minutes before touchdown. 
    One rescuer said he and others saw the wrecked fuselage was ablaze when they arrived at the site with bodies and body parts strewn all over the place. 
    Pouring rain and poor visibility in the mainly rural area, about 30km from Islamabad, hampered rescue efforts. 
    There was no word on fatalities on the ground, though TV channels showed several homes damaged. 
    Saifur Rehman, an official who was part of the police rescue team, said the plane had crashed into Hussain Abad village, about 3km from the Islamabad highway. 
    "Fire erupted after the crash. The wreckage is on fire, the plane is completely destroyed. We have come with teams of firefighters and searchlights and more rescuers are coming," he said. 
    A local resident told Geo News that the plane had had caught fire midair and crashed like a ball of fire. It quoted an expert as saying lightning may have hit the aircraft. A storm was lashing the around the same time as the crash. 
    The TV channel said that the plane fell on top of houses in the village. Authorities blamed weather for the crash and rushed rescue teams to the crash site. 
    This is the second major air disaster in Pakistan since July 2010 when 152 people were killed after an Airblue jet from Karachi crashed into hills overlooking Islamabad just before landing. 
    The deadliest civilian plane crash involving a Pakistani jet came in 1992 when a PIA Airbus A300 crashed into a hillside on its approach to Kathmandu, killAing 167 people. 
Apr 2, 2012 | 31 people killed when a Russian plane crashes in Siberia Sept 7, 2011 | Jet carrying ice hockey players crashes in Russia, killing 43 Jul 28, 2010 | A Pakistani plane from Karachi crashes near Islamabad airport, killing all 152 on board May 22 | 158 killed as an Air India Express jet overshoots runway in Mangalore Apr 10 | A plane carrying the Polish president crashes near the Russian airport of Smolensk, killing over 90 Jun 1, 2009 | An Air France jet from Rio de Janeiro to Paris crashes into the Atlantic with 228 on board Aug 20, 2008 | A Spanair plane veers off the runway in Madrid, killing 154


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