Pakistan’s electronic media regulatory authority on Thursday issued a notice to Channel 24 for airing an unauthentic audio clip of crashed PIA PK-661 flight.
The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight 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 all 47 on board.
Soon after the crash, an audio clip went viral on social media claiming to be the last audio before the plane crashed and was broadcast by the channel. In the audio, people could be heard crying for help, however, it surfaced it was an audio from another crash.
The audio was released by Channel 24 during its 9:47pm transmission on Wednesday, following which, PEMRA officially sent a notice to Channel 24 for broadcasting the audio clip and the channel management is required to respond by December 15.
According to the notice, Channel 24’s coverage is against the PEMRA electronic code of conduct 2015 under sections 3, 8 and 17. The channel is required to prove:
- The recording was from the passenger cabin of the ill fated aircraft
- Provide evidence of how the audio was recorded and sent to the channel from the aircraft
Upon receiving multiple reports against Channel 24, PEMRA lodged an inquiry. Upon failure to answer relevant questions, the channel will be fined Rs10 million.
Popular singer-turned-evangelist Junaid Jamshed, two Austrians, and a Chinese national were also on the PIA flight PK-661, which came down in the hills of Gagan, in Batolni village, some seven kilometres away from Havelian city, at around 4pm.
According to the airline, the plane was an ATR-42 turboprop aircraft, which lost contact with the Air Traffic Control (ATC) at Islamabad’s Benazir International Airport en route from Chitral.
PIA Chairman Azam Saigol blamed engine failure for the deadly crash. “Around 4:15pm the ATC received an emergency call from the pilot who informed them about the engine failure. A few minutes later, a mayday distress call was received from the pilot,” Saigol told journalists at a news conference. “At 4:20pm we received news of the crash.”