All 48 people aboard killed after plane crashes in northern Pakistan

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-08 08:21

All 48 people aboard killed after plane crashes in northern Pakistan

Photo taken on Dec. 7, 2016, shows a helicopter flying over the site of a plane crash in northwest Pakistan's Havelian. A passenger plane of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) with 47 people onboard crashed in the country's northwest Havelian area on Wednesday, officials said. [Photo/Xinhua]

ISLAMABAD -- Rescue teams have retrieved all 48 bodies from the wreckage of a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane, which crashed in the country's north mountainous area on Wednesday, officials said.

Azam Saigol, chairman of the PIA airline, said the plane was carrying 48 people, including 42 passengers, five crewmembers and one ground engineer.

According to the PIA's website, two Austrians and one Chinese national were also on board the ill-fated plane. The Chinese embassy has confirmed that a Chinese man was killed in the tragedy.

PIA Chairman Saigol said each passenger had an insurance of 5 million rupees (about $47,000) while the airline will bear the expenses of coffin, funeral and give a subsidy of half a million rupees (about 4,700 U.S. dollars).

He said the ATR-42 aircraft operating as flight PK-661 took off from the country's north Chitral airport for the capital of Islamabad at 3:40 p.m. local time (1040 GMT).

"At 4:14 p.m. we received a call from the pilot at Islamabad airport control tower informing us that he lost control over one of the two engines of the plane. We told him to land at the runway once his vision is clear, but at 4:16 p.m. (1116 GMT) we lost the contact with him," the chairman said.

The plane was some 35 miles away from Islamabad airport when the pilot contacted the control room.

Saigol said at about 4:30 p.m. they received the information that local people in the northern Havelian town saw the plane crashing into the hills.

He ruled out the reports of any human error and said that things will be clearer when investigation teams will give their report after completing the probe.

The Franch-made aircraft was manufactured in 2007 and inducted in the PIA fleet in the same year.

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