Islamabad-bound PIA aircraft crashes near Abbottabad, no survivors

Published: December 7, 2016

ISLAMABAD / PESHAWAR / ABBOTABAD: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight carrying 48 people, which was en route to Islamabad from the northern city of Chitral crashed near Abbottabad on Wednesday.

“PIA [Flight PK-661] aircraft ATR-42 (AP-BHO) crashed near Havelian at 1642 hours, 42 passengers, five crew members and one ground engineer were on board,” PIA spokesperson said in a statement. The crash site is near a small village called Saddha Batolni, the spokesperson added.

“There are no survivors, no one has survived,” Muhammad Azam Saigol told a press conference late on Wednesday.

Saigol said the ATR-42 aircraft had undergone regular maintenance and had in October passed an “A-check” certification, conducted after every 500 hours of flight operations. “I think that there was no technical error or human error … obviously there will be a proper investigation,” he said.

An earlier airline statement said the ATR-42 turboprop aircraft had lost contact.


Major air crashes in Pakistan

Among those on board was Junaid Jamshed, a former pop star turned evangelical Muslim, according to the Chitral airport manager, a local police official and the flight’s passengers list.

Two Austrians and one Chinese were also among those on board PK-616, according to the airline website.

List of passengers onboard available with The Express Tribune

In his last tweet, Jamshed posted pictures of a snow-capped mountain, calling Chitral “Heaven on Earth”.

Before boarding the flight, Jamshed along with former cricketer Saeed Anwar met officers at the Chitral Scouts Officers Mess.

He was in Chitral with his wife on a 15-day preaching trip, known as ‘Masturat Jamaat. The jamaat comprised four couples from Rawalpindi and Islamabad.


Profile: The enigma that was Junaid Jamshed

’40 bodies recovered so far’

The military’s media wing ISPR said at least 40 bodies were recovered, while the rescue operation continued.

“500 army troops, including doctors and paramedics, along with necessary vehicles, ambulances taking part in rescue operation,” the statement said.

Rescue operation continues. PHOTO: ISPR

All burnt bodies were shifted to Ayub Medical Teaching Hospital Abbottabad, according to PDMA Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Rescue efforts so far

-National Emergency Operation Centre has been established for coordination with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). The centre can be contacted at 051-9205037

-NDMA has directed the District Administrator to shift all deceased to a single hospital for recognition and their transportation to native areas

-Interior ministry has placed all of its helicopters at the disposal of NDMA to evacuate bodies

-Chairman NADRA has sent on field the biometric teams for recognition purpose

PIA PK-661 crash: List of passengers on board

– A facilitation centre has been established by DCO Abbotabad

‘ATR aircraft was 10-years-old’

PIA spokesperson told Express News that the ATR-42 aircraft which was “nearly 10 years old” was “in good condition”.

Meanwhile, the ATR aircraft company extended to sympathies towards the families of the victims who died in the plane crash today. A press statement released by the company said it regrets the tragic accident.

‘No technical issue before takeoff’

Senior Technician PIA Mohammad Ayub said the crashed plane was checked before it took off from Chitral.“There was no technical issue… had been cleared by the aircraft engineer, Asim Waqas, who is also one of the victims. Yesterday, it had flown to Kabul as well,” he told The Express Tribune.

“The pilot, who was in touch with us said one of the engines had stopped working. His last words were Mayday,” Ayub added.

Crew members

Air hostess Asma Adil

In 2012, a passenger aircraft had crashed near Islamabad while trying to land during a thunderstorm, killing all 127 people on board. The Bhoja Air flight B-213 from Karachi burst into flames after coming down in fields near a village on the outskirts of the capital as it tried to land in rain and hail at the city’s international airport.

In 2010, an Air Blue flight ED-202 from Karachi had crashed into Margalla Hills near the capital with 152 people on board.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Dec 7, 2016 - 5:17PM

    God, have mercy on our brothers and sisters.Recommend

  • salman
    Dec 7, 2016 - 5:56PM

    Very sad news.

    RIP Junaid Jamshed.Recommend

  • Wasim Raza
    Dec 7, 2016 - 5:58PM

    Sad news.
    ALLAH in sub ko jannat ma jaga ata farmaya.Recommend

  • Hasan
    Dec 7, 2016 - 6:03PM

    May Allah rest their souls in peace & keep all human beings everywhere safe from harm. Ameen.Recommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Dec 7, 2016 - 6:20PM

    What a waste of precious lives . May the gods above take pity on us humans and stop such incidents in future.Recommend

  • Proud to be Muslim
    Dec 7, 2016 - 6:22PM


  • YP Mississauga
    Dec 7, 2016 - 6:22PM

    Inna. RIP, our thoughts are with families of those who lost their dear onesRecommend

  • M.S.
    Dec 7, 2016 - 6:25PM

    Very very sad tragedy.Recommend

  • Jahangir Chauhan
    Dec 7, 2016 - 6:29PM

    Rest in peace.Recommend

    Dec 7, 2016 - 6:38PM

    This news item comes to me as a shock.I pray for the departed souls to rest in eternal peace.Amen.Life is so precious and sweet.We just can’t do anything about lives lost in this tragedy.I WONDER WHY we never learn any lessons form such tragedies in the air and revamp our system in view of the standard safety measures in place internationally. Recommend

  • Mr Obvious
    Dec 7, 2016 - 9:08PM

    May these unfortunate souls rest in peace. Maybe it’s time to stick “pride” in the back pocket and ask the American experts to determine the cause of the crash — it’s time to figure out why PIA has such a terrible track record and fix it. Recommend

  • Rabia
    Dec 7, 2016 - 9:16PM

    Such horrid and heartbreaking news to come back to :( We grew up with the sound of Junaid Jamshed in our ears :( To all the people who were on board, may God be with you all, always <3 :'(Recommend

  • Bitter truth
    Dec 7, 2016 - 10:11PM

    Inna lillahi wainna… May all of them find place in jannah, Ameen. With the death of JJ, a chapter of my youth life came to close. Dil, dil Pakistan…Recommend

  • Baba
    Dec 7, 2016 - 10:21PM

    Very sad news. PIA and their corrupt selfish unions and politicized management are responsible for this mess. From Chicago To Karachi PIA return ticket is $1300 in 30 year old unsafe planes, while Qatar airways return ticket is $700 in 2 years old very safe Boeing 777. PIA = Prayer in AirRecommend

  • Dipak
    Dec 8, 2016 - 2:54AM

    Very very sad accident. Pray God for the peace of every soul.Recommend

  • haroon
    Dec 8, 2016 - 8:01AM

    May ALLAH grant them jannat and patience to there loved ones AmeenRecommend

  • Haris Ali
    Dec 8, 2016 - 8:55PM

    Allah JJ ko b jannat may mukam ata karayRecommend

  • Haris Ali
    Dec 8, 2016 - 8:55PM

    Allah JJ ko b jannat may mukam ata karayRecommend

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