Team of French experts to probe PIA plane crash to arrive tomorrow

The team will conduct investigation for 16 hours, take the black box and voice recorder with them to decode

A man stands by the debris of a house at the site of the passenger plane crash in a residential area near Karachi airport. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

A team of French experts is expected to reach Karachi on Tuesday to provide technical assistance to the team investigating the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane crash.

The French team is scheduled to fly out at 11pm tonight (Pakistan Standard Time) and expected to land in Karachi on May 26, 6:40am.

The team will visit the crash site in Model Colony and will be taking back the aircraft's black box with them for further investigation.

The scheduled duration of their visit is said to be 16 hours during which they will complete their inspection and depart at 10pm on the same day.

Meanwhile, the investigation of the Aircraft Accident and Investigation Board is underway, with the team visiting the crash site on Monday.

The search for the voice data recorder is on going. It is also to be sent to France with the visiting team, claim sources.

The two devices are to be decoded by the French team in order to shed light on the incident.

The French team's visit comes in light of the announcement - made by Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan at a press conference a day after the crash - that revealed that a counter inquiry by the French and German experts belonging to the Airbus company, the manufacturer of the doomed A320, would be conducted to ascertain the cause of the crash.

PIA aircraft Airbus A320 crashed in the residential area of Model Colony near the Karachi airport on May 22,  minutes before landing. The plane flying from Lahore to Karachi had 99 persons on board including passengers and crew.

Only two persons survived the tragic incident. The bodies of the deceased are being identified via DNA testing and the process will continue in the coming days, according to authorities.

Meanwhile, the injured from among the site of the crash in Model Colony are under treatment at different hospitals in Karachi.

Initial investigation

Initial reports suggest that the crash occurred due to technical faults, however, further investigation is underway. The prime minister is expected to receive a preliminary report within a month.

According to sources in the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the aircraft’s engines may have been damaged during the initial landing approach before the pilot circled the plane around for another try.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, the sources said that the CAA has carried out a runway inspection and compiled a report that reveals important details about the sequence of events leading up to the crash.

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