Despite the passage of two years, relatives of Airblue crash victims are yet to recover from the tragedy that upended their lives.
“How is it possible for a mother to forget her only son,” said Khalida Shafique while talking to The Express Tribune on Saturday.
She lost her only son, Muhammad Umar, on the fateful rainy morning of July 28, 2010, when the Islamabad-bound ED 202 flight of Airblue crashed in the Margalla Hills. She says not a single day passes when she does not remember Umar.
To mark the second anniversary of the plane crash on Saturday, relatives and family members of the victims gathered at the H-11 Graveyard on Saturday.
The gathering was organised by Airblue Crash Affectees Group in Islamabad and Karachi to remember those who lost their lives in the tragic accident.
The aggrieved families showered rose petals on the victims’ graves and prayed for the departed souls. The relatives of the Bhoja Air crash victims were also present on the occasion.
Umar, who had just completed his MBA, was returning home after securing a job in Karachi. Little did he know what fate had in store for him.
Hassan Ali, 28, was also among those who were killed in the plane crash. His father, Colonel (retd) Shaheem, still feels Ali is alive and with him.
The victims’ families also expressed concern over compensation promised to them. “So far, 103 families have been compensated, while the rest are still awaiting completion of the process,” said Sheikh Shakil, who lost a loved one in the crash.
Parliamentary Secretary on Human Rights Rubina Saadat Qaimkhwani, who was present to express solidarity with the families, assured to take up the compensation issue before the committee in the coming week.
In the Airblue flight flying from Karachi to Islamabad, all 152 passengers onboard died after the plane crashed into the Margalla Hills. The plane lost contact with the control tower shortly before the crash which occurred amid thick fog and heavy rainfall.
According to data recovered from the black box, the aircraft’s captain had ignored the air traffic controller’s suggestions several times.
The report concluded that the crash was a case of Controlled Flight into Terrain, in which the aircrew failed to display superior judgment and professional skills in a self-created unsafe environment.
In their pursuit to land in inclement weather, they committed serious violations of procedures and breaches of flying discipline, which put the aircraft in an unsafe condition over dangerous terrain at low altitude, the report said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2012.