Distraught relatives, teary-eyed siblings and grief-stricken parents roamed haplessly around the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) in search of the bodies of their loved ones, after the tragic air crash on Friday.
In a scene eerily familiar to the one that was witnessed at the hospital almost two years ago, aggrieved family members could be seen running after the officials to get information about the victims.
As rain and congested roads delayed the rescue operation, the body parts of five passengers of Bhoja Air were brought to the hospital in a police vehicle around 10:15pm. This was followed by around 17 ambulances bringing uncovered body parts, which were then wrapped up using cloths.
Unable to get any information about their relatives, a wave of emotional distress ran among the people, who seemed to be in sheer confusion. The officials seemed as confused and the state of chaos at the hospital, that was similar to one witnessed after the Airblue crash, continued late into the night.
Some were also asked to visit Polyclinic, where other bodies were being shifted.
Shattered dreams, unfulfilled wishes
Among those killed in the plane crash was 30-year-old Tariq Mehmood, a father of two, who had boarded the plane to go to Pakistan Military Academy Kakul to attend his passing out parade on Saturday. One of Mehmood’s relatives said they had earlier lost a family member in the Air Blue crash in 2010.
Another deceased, who was identified as the brother-in-law of Chief Justice of Pakistan’s photographer, was initially planning to travel on Saturday. He had boarded the fateful flight two days earlier to surprise his wife on their wedding anniversary.
The woman, a relative of the man, said the couple was happily married and the deceased’s wife was looking forward to seeing her husband. Upon receiving the heartbreaking news, she went into a state of shock.
Khalid, a local resident, said he was on his way to the airport to receive his friend when he was informed about the incident. Khalid’s friend, along with his mother and mother-in-law, were returning after performing Umrah. “We were all so excited; we were carrying flowers with us to receive them but now will never be able to see my friend again,” he said with tears in his eyes.
Among those who died in the crash on Saturday, Talat Qureshi, a geologist and a resident of I-10/1, had gone to Karachi on a personal visit and was returning home.
Usman Rasheed, a 24-year-old teacher at Jamia Furqanian, was also among the victims. Rasheed had seven siblings and was coming home to see his family. Unfortunately, the tragic accident turned his dreams into a nightmare for the family.
Pims Spokesperson Waseem Khwaja told The Express Tribune that a large number of bodies have been received so far. However, nearly all of them are not complete and hence no official figures can be given.
Meanwhile, Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Aamir Ali Ahmed said as many as 50 bodies had been shifted to Pims at the time of filing this report.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2012.
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