No survivor found yet after passenger plane crashes in Pakistan

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-08 03:36

ISLAMABAD -- No survivor was found yet after a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) passenger plane crashed in mountainous area near Havelian in northern part of Pakistan Wednesday, according to local reports.

Rescue teams from Pakistani army have recovered 36 bodies from the wreckage of the ill-fated plane, the military said, adding that some 500 soldiers and doctors are taking part in the rescue operation.

The Chinese embassy in Islamabad has confirmed that a Chinese national was killed in the accident.

Three foreigners were among the 48 people onboard.

A total of 10 bodies have been shifted to Ayub medical complex at Abbotabad. Medical teams there will identify the bodies and then the bodies will be handed over to relatives.

Doctor Manan, deputy medical superintendent at the hospital, said all the bodies were burnt beyond recognition and the identification process will be completed by DNA tests.

The country's Interior Ministry has provided helicopters to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) with mobile teams from National Database Registration Authority on board heading to the Abbottabad hospital for biometric verification of the bodies.

The NDMA has also formed an emergency center at the hospital to speed up the identification process, on the directives of the country's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The PIA airplane crashed when it was on its way to the country's capital Islamabad from north Chitral district.

Sher Ali, spokesperson of PIA, said the ATR-42 aircraft operating as PK-661 took off from the country's north Chitral airport at 3:40 p.m. local time (1040 GMT) and lost contact with the radar at 4:20 p.m. (1120 GMT).

He said the plane crashed into Havelian area, some 436 km southeast of Chitral in the country's northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, at about 4:42 p.m. (1142 GMT).

Ali said the plane was carrying 42 passengers, five crewmembers and an engineer to Islamabad when it crashed.

Eyewitnesses said the plane crashed into the hills and caught fire, adding that they put out the fire with mud and tree branches before the arrival of the rescue teams.

Cause of the crash has not been determined yet, but sharing initial investigations, Irfan Ilahi, the secretary Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), said one of the two engines of the plane met some technical fault, which caused the accident.

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