World's worst aviation disasters in 2016

Published: December 26, 2016
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As Pakistan mourns for the 47 passengers killed in the PK-661 crash, thousands were left grief-stricken following the equally tragic Colombia plane crash earlier in November.

As 2016 draws to a close, The Express Tribune looks back at some of the year’s worst aviation disasters.

December 25

PHOTO: REUTERS

A Russian military plane en route to Syria crashed in the Black Sea with 92 on board. Dozens of Red Army Choir members were among the passengers who were heading to celebrate the New Year with troops.

The plane had been on a routine flight to Russia’s Hmeimim airbase in western Syria, which has been used to launch air strikes in Moscow’s military campaign supporting its ally President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s devastating civil war. Read more here.

December 19

ROSSIYA 24 SCREENGRAB

A Russian Defence Ministry plane crashed in northeast Siberia with 39 people on board as it tried to make an emergency landing near a Soviet-era military base. Russian news agencies reported that nobody had been killed in the incident, but said 32 people had been airlifted to hospital, 16 of whom were in serious condition. Read more here.

December 18

PHOTO: REUTERS

An Indonesian air force transport plane crashed into a mountain, killing all 13 people board, during a training exercise in the remote region of Papua. According to reports, the aircraft was carrying three pilots and 10 military personnel. Read more here.

December 7

PHOTO: AP

Pakistan International Airlines flight PK-661 crashed into a hillside after one of its two turboprop engines failed while travelling from the city of Chitral to the capital, and burst into flames killing everyone on board. Popular singer-turned-evangelist Junaid Jamshed, two Austrians, and a Chinese national were also on the ill-fated flight.

Days after the incident, PIA chairman Azam Saigol tendered his resignation from the post. Read more here.

November 28

PHOTO: REUTERS

71 people were killed and a Brazilian football team was wiped out on November 28 after a Chapecoense plane crashed near the Colombian city of Medellin.

The LAMIA Bolivia BAe146 airliner apparently ran out of fuel, lost electrical power and was preparing for an emergency landing when it crashed. Only six people survived, including three members of the soccer squad en route to the Copa Sudamericana final, the biggest game in its history. Read more here

August 3

PHOTO: REUTERS

An Emirates jetliner arriving from India caught fire after slumping onto the runway in Dubai, killing one firefighter in an intense blaze and bringing the world’s busiest international airport to a halt for several hours.

All 300 passengers and crew were safely evacuated from the gutted Boeing 777-300 after a crash that one survivor described as terrifying. Read more here

May 19

Prayer in absentia for EgyptAir crash victims. PHOTO: REUTERS

EgyptAir flight 804 from Paris to Cairo, had been en route on May 19 when it crashed into the Mediterranean, killing all 66 on board, among them 40 Egyptians and 15 French nationals.

The Airbus A320 fell 22,000 feet and swerved sharply twice in Egyptian airspace before it disappeared from radar screens, Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos told a news conference. Read more here.

April 13

A light aircraft crashed while trying to land in Papua New Guinea’s rugged Western province killing 12 people, Australian authorities and media said. The Sunbird Aviation aircraft crashed into swamp just short of the Kiunga airport runway, killing all passengers and the Australian pilot, according to Australian Broadcasting Corp.

March 19

PHOTO: AP

All 62 people on board a flydubai Boeing 737 were killed when the plane crashed and burst into flames as it was landing in Rostov-on-Don, in Southern Russia.

The plane was making its second attempt to land in bad weather when it missed the runway, erupting in a huge fireball as it crashed and leaving debris scattered across a wide area. Read more here

February 24

PHOTO: DARREN HOWE

A small plane crashed in Nepal in bad weather, killing all 23 people on board, the country’s second air disaster in as many years. The Twin Otter aircraft, operated by private Tara Air, was on a flight from Pokhara, 125 km west of the capital, Kathmandu, to Jomsom when it lost contact with the control tower. Read more here

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