Airblue passenger plane crashes in Islamabad, kills all 152 people on board

July 28th, 2010 - 8:07 pm ICT by BNO News  

ISLAMABAD (BNO NEWS) — A passenger plane crashed in Islamabad, Pakistan killing all 152 people on board, including two U.S. citizens, after it attempted to land in rainy and clouded conditions.

Airblue flight 202, believed to be an Airbus A321-231, took off from Jinnah International Airport in Karachi on early Wednesday morning and was expected to land at Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad at around 09.30 a.m. local time.

The aircraft, which was carrying 146 passengers and six crew members, crashed in the Margalla Hills near Islamabad shortly before it was supposed to land, apparently after air traffic control delayed its landing. Television images showed smoke billowing from the site as rescue workers arrived at the scene.

It was initially believed that dozens may have survived the crash, but all bodies have been accounted for and there were no survivors. An Express News reporter at the scene said he had seen at least 15 bodies, including at least two women, who were severely burned.

Stefan Schaffrath, the Head of Media Relations for Airbus, confirmed an Airbus was involved in the accident. “We regret to confirm there has been an accident with an Airbus aircraft but we wait for more confirmed information,” he said.

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear, but fog was hampering rescue efforts after the crash. Efforts are being made to locate the plane’s “black box” in order to determine the exact cause of the tragic crash.

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