As news of the plane crash broke, families, relatives and friends of the passengers started gathering at the emergency ward of the largest hospital in the city, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims).
All were hoping that the names of their loved ones would be in the list of those who were declared injured. But their hopes faded as news filtered in that there were no survivors.
The initial announcement by magistrate Kamran Cheema, that bodies of the victims would not be brought to the hospital, caused confusion and panic.
However, a little while later, at around 2:15 pm, the first ambulance carrying the remains of the victims reached the hospital.
Those gathered for news of their loved ones had a hard time getting any information. Not only did the hospital not have an information cell, the medical staff was also unwilling to tell them anything either.
The only source of information was the media and people gathered around different television channels’ vans to get the latest news.
Others kept calling their homes to find out what was being reported on television, as that was their source of information.
Till 5:00 pm 35 to 40 ambulances carrying the remains of the passengers had arrived at the hospital. By this time, the hospital management had also established an information cell manned by two young people but they were unable to provide any satisfactory information to the relatives of the deceased.
Executive director Pims Mehmood Jamal informed the media that the hospital has received 60 bodies out of which 15 were in a condition to be identified.
He said that DNA profiles would be analysed to identify the other bodies.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2010.