AIRLINER CRASHES IN PAKISTAN, KILLING 127
- A Pakistani airliner with 127 people on board crashed in bad weather as it came in to land in Islamabad on Friday, April 20, scattering wreckage and leaving no sign of survivors, Reuters reported.
The Boeing 737, operated by local airline Bhoja Air, was flying to the capital from Pakistan's biggest city and business hub Karachi. It crashed into wheat fields more than 5 miles from the airport.
Rawal Khan Maitla, director general of Emergency Disaster Management for the Capital Development Authority, said there were no survivors.
Rescue workers walked through mud at the crash site with flashlights or with the lights of their cellphones looking for passengers' remains. One held up a tattered e-ticket receipt.
Body parts, wallets and eyeglasses lay among wreckage strewn in a small settlement just outside Islamabad.
Parts of the aircraft smashed into electricity poles, blanketing the area in darkness, or into houses. There were no reports of casualties on the ground.
Bhoja Air said the airplane crashed during its approach in Islamabad due to bad weather. There was no indication from the government that it could have been the result of foul play.
According to The Associated Press, Pakistan blocked the head of the airline from leaving the country as it began an investigation Saturday into the disaster.
Speaking at the scene of the crash, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Saturday that Farooq Bhoja, head of Bhoja Air, had been put on the "exit control list," meaning he can't leave Pakistan. Such a ban is often put on someone suspected or implicated in a criminal case.
Malik said, "It is being said that the aircraft was pretty old, so it has been ordered to investigate thoroughly the air worthiness of the Bhoja Air aircraft."
"The causes will be investigated, whether it was any fault in the aircraft, it was lightning, the bad weather or any other factor that caused loss of precious lives," he said.
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