Plane with 127 on board crashes in Pakistan (Second Lead)

April 20th, 2012 - 11:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, April 20 (IANS) A passenger plane carrying 127 people crashed into a residential area and burst into flames as it was approaching Pakistan’s Islamabad airport Friday evening. There were no reports of survivors.

The commercial airliner, Bhoja Air 737, was descending for landing when it crashed a few miles from Islamabad airport, near Chaklala airbase, Rawalpindi.

Heavy rain and wind storm was reported in the area around the time the crash took place.

There were 118 passengers and nine crew on-board. However, some reports say there were 131 people on board.

The plane came down on Hussain Abad village, about three kilometres from the main Islamabad highway, according to Saifur Rehman, an official from the police rescue team.

“Fire erupted after the crash. The wreckage is on fire, the plane is completely destroyed. We have come with teams of firefighters and searchlights and more rescuers are coming,” Rehman told Geo News.

The crash site was littered with debris from the wreckage as rescue workers tried to find any signs of survivors.

The Bhoja Airline Boeing 737 was flying from the port city of Karachi, Pakistan’s Geo TV reported.

The Chaklala airbase is used by the Pakistani Air Force.

An emergency has been declared in all hospitals of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

Pakistan’s Civilian Aviation Authority, confirming the crash, blamed it on poor weather.

According to sources, the Boeing 737, which took off from Karachi at 5.00 p.m., was expected to land in Islamabad at 6.40 p.m., but crashed just before touchdown.

The Civilian Aviation Authority (CAA) said rescue teams, including army personnel, have rushed to the accident site.

According to sources in the CAA, the flight was given clearance to land but it lost contact with the control tower minutes before the crash.

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