Bhoja Air crash: 123 victims identified, judicial commission to be formed

President directs defence minister to hold inquiry into incident.


Afp/web Desk April 21, 2012

ISLAMABAD/ KARACHI: Bodies of 123 victims who lost their lives in the Bhoja Air crash were identified and DNA tests will be conducted to identify the four bodies remaining whereas 110 bodies were handed over to relatives at PIMS hospital on Saturday, Express News reported.

Earlier, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said that the Bhoja Air crash was a big tragedy for the country and that a judicial commission will be formed to probe the matter.

Justice (R) Wasim Kausar will be secretary of the judicial commission.

Speaking to the media at PIMS in Islamabad, Gilani said that he had directed Interior Minister Rehman Malik to form a judicial commission. He said a conclusion cannot be reached unless a complete investigation is done.

Meanwhile, a First Information Report (FIR) of the crash has been registered at the Koral police station against 'Bhoja Air Line' after the crash in Hussainabad, causing casualties of 127 boarded persons including passengers and its crew, a police spokesman said.  Giving further details, he said that case no.132 has been registered under sections 302, 286, 287, 427, 280, 120-B over the complaint of Station House Officer of Koral police station. He said that it has been stated in the FIR that low standard and old plane was used which caused loss of human lives and other valuables. The name of other persons, if found negligent, would be included in FIR later.

The prime minister said that 159 bags had been received at the hospital, 72 bodies had been identified and 62 had been taken by the relatives.

Gilani lauded rescue teams for their work at night.

Dozens of coffins lined a hallway at PIMS on Saturday as weeping relatives of the victims arrived to collect their remains.

Staff at PIMS, their faces covered with masks, sprayed air freshener to mask the smell of burnt flesh in the room where the remains lay.

Some remains were no more than body parts, kept on stretchers and covered by white sheets.

Many of the family members were inconsolable, too overwhelmed with grief to speak. One young man wept bitterly for the cousin and aunt he lost in the crash, who were returning from pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

"I don't want to talk, please leave us alone," he told journalists.

Earlier, a private plane transported relatives of the victims from Karachi to Islamabad. Sources had said that the relatives were transported to the hospital as soon as they boarded off the plane.

Government and private transport was present to take the relatives to PIMS hospital. Sources said that first priority had been to take the relatives to the hospital but if they wished they would be taken to the crash site.

DNA tests were conducted to help identify the rest of the bodies. National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) helped identify 46 bodies through fingerprints.

The bodies of six victims of Bhoja plane crash were brought to Karachi by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flightPK-301 on Saturday afternoon, said PIA spokesman Syed Sultan Hassan.

He identified the dead as Raza Ali Khan, Babu, Abbas Ali, Imran Waheed, Irfan and Tasleem Begum.

He further said that on the directive of President Asif Ali Zardari, PIA has made free of cost arrangements for airlifting the bodies of the air crash victims.

A relative of a crash victim complained that as opposed to the promise of free transport from Islamabad to Karachi, some officials told them that for transporting the coffin, they would have to pay Rs5000 in cargo charges.

In a statement issued on their website, the Boeing Company extended its profound condolences to the families and friends of those lost in the Bhoja Air accident and offered to provide assistance to CAA if needed.

“Boeing stands ready to provide technical assistance to the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan through the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board”, read the statement.

President directs defence minister to hold inquiry

President Asif Ali Zardari called Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar to inquire about the progress in extending facilitation to the affected families of the plane crash tragedy.

Expressing grief, the president directed the defence minister that a comprehensive inquiry be held at the earliest so as to find reasons that led to such a tragic incident and to avoid recurrence of such tragedies.

MQM chief expresses concern over lack of facilities

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has expressed concern over the lack of facilities being provided to the families of those killed in the plane crash.

Hussain has called on President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to help the families identify their loved ones, provide them with transport to take their bodies to their homes, and a counter and other medical arrangements.

A passenger flight travelling from Karachi to Islamabad carrying 121 passengers and six crew members came hurtling down towards the outskirts of Rawalpindi at 6:46pm on Friday evening.

Among the passengers were five infants and six children. There were no survivors.

Bhoja Air’s aged B737-200 took off from Karachi airport at 5:05pm and crashed five nautical miles from Islamabad airport on the village of Hussainabad. However, rescuers said people on the ground remained largely safe as the bulk of the wreckage fell in an open area.

China condoles with Pakistan 

Chinese President Hu Jintao, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in their messages to President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar expressed their deep condolences over the plane crash tragedy.

A press release issued by the Chinese Embassy on Satuday, said, “On April 21, 2012, Chinese President Hu Jintao sent a message of condolences to his Pakistani counterpart President Asif Ali Zardari over an air crash near Islamabad which caused heavy casualties.”

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COMMENTS (28)

Meekal Ahmed | 9 years ago | Reply

"Low standard and old aeroplane" as a basis for an FIR?

I think we have all gone rather mad.

Das | 9 years ago | Reply If some inner circle members of the Pres.were in the plane, I am sure the investigation would be done at jet speed and all responsible punished.
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