Bhoja Air flight B213’s crash has left scores of families with inerasable scars and indescribable trauma.
For Mumtaz Ahmed that day will be remembered in infamy — he not only lost his wife but also two of his four children on the ill-fated flight which claimed the lives of 127 people on Friday.
A resident of Islamabad, Ahmed was anxiously waiting for his wife, daughter and son to reach Islamabad after spending a month in Karachi.
He instead received three coffins and life henceforth changed for him.
“I was waiting to receive my family at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport at around 6:00 pm and within half an hour, news broke on TV about the plane crash.
“I couldn’t feel my legs; the feeling was inexplicable, the pain excruciating,’’ Ahmed said with vacant eyes — as if staring into an abyss.
“I last heard their voices when the plane was about to take off from Karachi. And hours later I received their bodies at the PIMS hospital.’’
His wife Khalida, and two children – 13-year-old son Faique and six-year-old daughter Yamna – had gone to Karachi last month to visit their maternal grandmother.
Originally from Karachi, the family had settled in Islamabad in the last couple of years. The two children, Faique and Yamna, used to study in the Islamabad Convent School.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Ahmed said he has lost everything.
“When I heard the news I tried to reach the site but could not due to heavy traffic,” he said, trying hard to hide his tears.
Nostalgically, he said that his son Faique was in grade seven and daughter Yamna in grade four — both exceptionally studious with Faique receiving straight As last year.
“Yamna, the youngest one, was especially close to me. I had been missing her immensely since she left for Karachi. How do you make sense of the fact that you won’t ever see your baby again?’’
Misery has consumed the eldest son of the family too.
“I had never imagined this would happen to me. I’ve lost a mother, sister and brother,” Rashique said in disbelief.
While the family tries to fill the painful void that this tragedy has left in their lives, many a tear fall across the country with an incident that will refuse to wear down with time.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2012.