Pak 737 crash kills 130

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Pak 737 crash kills 130

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI -A Pakistan airliner carrying 130 people on board crashed on its inaugural flight from Karachi to Islamabad on Friday while trying to land in bad weather near the capital.

By Afzal Khan And Rehan Siddiqui

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Published: Fri 20 Apr 2012, 8:55 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 9:40 AM

Low-cost Bhoja Air’s Boeing 737-200, flying from Pakistan’s commercial hub Karachi, crashed about five nautical miles from Islamabad’s Benazir Bhutto International Airport. The cause of the crash was not immediately known but civil aviation officials said the accident took place amid heavy downpour.

“There is no chance of any survivors. It will be only a miracle. The plane is totally destroyed,” police official Fazle Akbar said.

There were 121 passengers and nine crew member on board the aircraft that was piloted by Captain Noorullah Afridi with Mushtaq as his co-pilot. Airline officials said Afridi was an experienced pilot.

Among the passengers on board were five infants, a newlywed couple travelling to Islamabad and Murree on their honeymoon trip and more than two dozen women. According to the airline passenger list, majority were residents of Karachi and some from Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

Flight B4-213 had left Karachi at 5.35pm and was due to land at Islamabad at 6.50pm. Aviation officials said the pilot last contacted the control tower at 6.40pm and was given clearance but immediately lost touch after apparently flying into a cloud burst. Eyewitnesses said the plane caught fire before crashing into a wheat field near a small settlement. “I saw a fireball coming down and crashing with a blast,” retired colonel Khalid told reporters. The site of the accident was about 3km near Islamabad airport near Hussainabad village, some of whose houses were also damaged. Body parts lay among wreckage of the plane and luggage strewn over an area of about a square kilometer.

A torrential rain and thunderstorm was lashing parts of the capital at the time of the crash, said an aviation official, adding lightening might have caused the plane to catch fire.

Rescue teams who were rushed to the site were joined by an army team, but operations were hampered by heavy downpour and thick darkness.

Bhoja Air was re-issued a fresh licence recently to resume commercial operations after a lapse of 12 years. The Civil Aviation Authority, the regulators, had forced the airline to close its operation due to financial bankruptcy and non-payment of the government dues.

The Boeing 737-200, reportedly among the first of the Boeing’s 737-200 series, was delivered some 27 years back. The aircraft was bought from South African private carrier by Bhoja Airline owners.

Re-launched on March 6, Bhoja Air started operations with economy domestic flights to Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Multan.

Some media reports cast doubts on the fitness of the ill-fated plane and claimed that the owners had used political influence to launch the service.

This was the second air crash near Islamabad after private carrier Air Blue’s flight from Karachi to Islamabad crashed over Margalla Hills surrounding the capital on August 10, 2010, killing 152 people, including six crew members.

No Bhoja Air official in Islamabad was available to comment as its staff closed the airport office and disappeared shortly after the crash, but an airline spokesman at Karachi airport attributed the crash to extreme weather conditions. The airline has arranged a special flight from Karachi to Islamabad to carry relatives of the victims.

President Asif Zardari expressed deep sorrow over the accident and sent a chartered plane to Karachi to bring relatives of the victims to Islamabad.

A man who had been at waiting at the Islamabad airport for the flight yelled “my two daughters are dead” as tears streamed down his face.

In a state of shock, he then slumped on the floor and sat silently as other relatives of passengers crowded around lists of those on board.

Among them was Zarina Bibi, desperate to determine whether her husband was on the Bhoja Air flight. “He called me before leaving Karachi but I don’t know if he was on this flight or not,” said Bibi, whose eyes were red from crying.

State television reported that all hospitals in Islamabad and the nearby city of Rawalpindi had been put on high alert after the crash.

Rescue teams were rushed to the site of the accident but there was no report if there were any survivors. Heavy downpour and darkness were hampering rescue work.

Eye witnesses said the plane caught fire immediately after crashing.

Airline officials said the plane was carrying 118 passengers and nine crew members. It was due to leave Karachi after one hour stopover.

Below is a list of passengers

1. Abbas Ali
2. Abida Javed Malik
3. Adeel Chughtai
4. Aiman Ikram
5. Altamash Khan
6. Anisa Akbar
7. Anum Hussain
8. Asif Aftab
9. Asmaa Ahmad
10. Ataur Rehman
11. Azizur Rehman
12. Baqir Mehdi
13. Bibi Hameeda
14. Chand Baboo
15. Chd Faiq
16. Dilshad Kamaal
17. Dr Abdul Qadir
18. Dr Asadullah
19. Fahira Laiq
20. Farah Sajid
21. Fatima
22. Fehmeeda Zubair
23. Ghulam Farooq Qasmi
24. Ghulam Rehman
25. Gul
26. Gul Faraz
27. Gul Sharif Jana
28. Gul Zaman
29. Habibur Rehman
30. Hafeezur Rehman
31. Hafsa Chughtai
32. Hafsa Shahid
33. Haleema Sadia
34. Hamida Khadima Baloch
35. Haris Haris
36. Husun Nisa
37. Imran Waheed
38. Irfan Ali
39. Javed Akhtar Malik
40. Javed Iqbal
41. Kalo Abbasi
42. Khwaja Raziuddin
43. Liauqat Ali
44. Masooda Begum
45. Mishir Jan
46. Mohammad Atiq Khan
47. Mrs Mohammad Latif
48. Mohammad Latif
49. Moiz Sadiq
50. Mrs Khalida
51. Ms Yumna
52. Muhammad Abdul Hafeez
53. Muhamad Anwar Khan
54. Muhammad Ashfaq Khan
55. Muhammad Farooq
56. Muhammad Irfan
57. Muhammad Irfan
58. Muhammad Qasim
59. Muhammad Shahnawaz
60. Muhammad Sohail
61. Muhammad Younus
62. Muhammada Abdullah
63. Mujtaba Siyal
64. Mukhan Jan
65. Munawar Sultana
66. Musarrat Shaheen
67. Nadir Khan Fazaldad
68. Nasreen
69. Nazmeen
70. Nighat Mehdi
71. Nihaluddin Alvi
72. Nisar Ahmed
73. Nuzhat
74. Qamar Aftab
75. Qari Muhammad Abdul Rahman
76. Rakh Shanda
77. Rakhshanda
78. Rashida Rehman
79. Raza Ali Khan Feroz
80. Ree Han
81. SM Saud Ishaq
82. Saba Amber
83. Sadaf Baloch
84.Sadaf Tanveer
85. Saeed Khan
86. Saeeda Akhtar
87. Sania Abbas
88. Sarah Chughtai
89. Sardar Shah
90. Sarwat Mumtaz
91. Shabbir Ahmad Awan
92. Shahid Iqbal
93. Shamima Abdullah
94. Shazia Baloch
95. Sobia Ubaid
96. Suleiman Chughtai
97. Sumaiyah Chughtai
98. Syed Muhammad Amjad
99. Syed Muhammad Rizwan
100. Syed Omar Ali
101. Syed Sajjad Ali Rizvi
102. Syeda Amjad Shaheen
103. Syeda Rizwan Sufia
104. Tabbasum Sarwat
105. Tabia Rehman
106. Talat Mahmood Qureshi
107. Tanveer Jan
108. Tariq Mehmood
109. Tasadouq Mahmood
110. Tasneem Begum
111. Tuba Shewar
112. Usman Rahim
113. Usman Rasheed
114. Uzma Inam
115. Wajat Abbasi
116. Waji Ha
117. Yasmin Muhammad Sultan
118. Zaheer Shah
119. Zahida Aziz
120. Zaibun Nisa
121. Zuhra Begum

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