Islamabad-bound PIA aircraft crashes near Abbottabad

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight carrying 42 passengers and five crew members en route to Islamabad from the northern city of Chitral crashed near Abbottabad on Wednesday.

 PK-661 departed from Chitral at 3:30pm and disappeared from the air control radar soon after take off, reported Express News.

According to the passengers list, 47 people were on board the aircraft, including five crew members. Former singer Junaid Jamshed along with his family, as well as DC Chitral and his wife were also onboard.

“We regret to inform that PIA’s ATR-42 aircraft operating as PK-661, carrying around 40 persons lost its contact with control tower on its way from Chitral to Islamabad,” PIA spokesperson Danial Gilani said in a statement. “All resources are being mobilised to locate the aircraft.”

“PIA’s emergency response center has been activated and can be accessed at following phone numbers for updates: 0092-21-99044890, 0092-21-99044376 and 0092-21-99044394,” Gilani added.

DPO Abbottabad confirmed the aircraft crashed near Havelian between Majab and Piplian.

Meanwhile, military’s media wing ISPR said the Pakistan Army dispatched troops and helicopters to the crash site for rescue efforts.

The prime minister has also directed all authorities “to immediately reach the site and start rescue and relief operations”, said a statement.

In 2012, a passenger aircraft had crashed near Islamabad while trying to land during a thunderstorm, killing all 127 people on board. The Bhoja Air flight B-213 from Karachi burst into flames after coming down in fields near a village on the outskirts of the capital as it tried to land in rain and hail at the city’s international airport.

In 2010, an Air Blue flight ED-202 from Karachi had crashed into Margalla Hills near the capital with 152 people on board.