Bhoja plane crash: 127 perish
Bodies parts scattered ; Ill-fated plane gutted ; President, PM grieved over tragic incident
Islamabad—A private airlines aircraft carrying around 127 people crashed here Friday before landing at Benazir Bhutto International Airport.
The Bhoja Airline plane B-213 had taken off from Karachi at around 1700 hours and reached here at around 1840 hours but it crashed in Hussainabad area, some seven kilometers away from the airport’s runway.
As the plane crashed at the populated area, it damaged the property, though the inmates were stated to be safe.
Soon after the incident, the teams of Rescue 1122, Pakistan Navy, Edhi Welfare Trust and others rushed to the site and the operation was underway.
According to the Rescue spokesman around 75 dead bodies have been shifted to different hospitals of twin cities including Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences.
Talking to media, Minister for Interior Rehman A Malik said all possible efforts are being made to expedite the rescue operation at the plane crash site.
“The Prime Minister had given me direction to monitor the rescue operation, he said adding Inspector General of Police was present at the site for rescue operation.
He said the Director General Military Operation of GHQ for rescue operation has also dispatched Pakistan Army teams to the spot.
However, he said due to the darkness in the area, the rescuers were facing difficulties while taking part in the operation however, all necessary arrangements are being made with the help of Pakistan Army to continue the activities.
The Interior Minister said Crisis Management Cell of the Ministry of Interior has set up for providing update information to the general public.
The authorities concerned of NADRA have been directed to help identify the people through CNIC.
Besides, the Civil Aviation Authority has set up an emergency desk at the Islamabad and Karachi Airports, said the spokesman of the CAA, Pervez George.
He said the phone numbers of the Emergency Desk at Islamabad are 051-9237453, 051-9230107 and 051-9237621.
The phone numbers of Emergency Desk at Karachi Airport are: 021-99071384 and 021-99071385.
He said the Minister for Defence and the Director General of CAA have instructed the Airport Managers of Islamabad and Karachi to facilitate the relatives of the passengers and provide them with timely information.
Following the plane crash, Benazir Bhutto Shaheed International Airport was closed for all incoming and outgoing flights, though it was opened later.
The Director General of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Captain Nadeem Yousuf Zia, has ordered an inquiry into the crash of a Bhoja Airlinepassenger plane near Islamabad.
A spokesman of the CAA Pervez George here stated this on Friday.
He said that the inquiry team of the CAA has already left for the site of the crash.
CAA spokesman said that Bhoja Airline flight B-213 that left Karachi for Islamabad on Friday evening with 122 passengers and nine crew, crashed five nautical miles from Islamabad Airport.
The Benazir Bhutto Shaheed International Airport was closed on Friday for all incoming and outgoing flights after a plane crash near near Koral.
According to Civil Aviation sources, the flight operation from the airport was suspended in the aftermath of Bhoja airliner crash. Defence Secretary Nargis Sethi said that all important measures are being taken to expedite rescue operation at the plane crash site that occurred at Koral area of the federal capital. “The President and Prime Minister had given directions to the ministry of defence for expediting rescue activities at the plane crash site, “ she said.
Talking to Pakistan Television (PTV), she said that the defence ministry was directed to work in collaboration with the concerned institutions including local administrations, police, health and capital developmental authority (CDA) for assisting the rescue operation.
Replying to a question, she said that inquiry board was also set up to collect information regarding the tragic incident of the plane crash. “Two operation centers were also set up for providing information to the general public and victim families, “ she said.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira Friday said all relevant departments have been put on alert to deal with the plane crash tragedy.
Talking to media, he said the rescue operation was yet underway and that all out resources would be used in this regard.
He expressed deep sorrow and grief over the loss of innocent lives in the tragic plane crash at Hussainabad area.
He asked the authorities concerned to provide all possible assistance to the relatives of the plane crash victims. An information cell with telephone number 051-2303156 has been set up at Koral Police Station here to provide the latest information to the victim families and people about the tragic incident of air crash.
The cell has been established on Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s directive. The minister said NADRA officials at the police station would assist the people regarding identification of the passengers, said a press release.
The minister said the plane’s wings were ablaze before it crashed in the densely populated area of Koral, however, the reason behind the crash was yet to be ascertained.
Meanwhile talking to PTV, Rehman Malik said that all possible efforts were being made to expedite the rescue operation.
“The Prime Minister has directed me to personally monitor the rescue operation,” he said.
He said the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad was on the site to supervise the rescue operation. Pakistan Army teams were taking part in the operation.
“Due to the darkness, the rescuers were facing difficulties. All necessary arrangements were being made with the help of Pakistan Army to continue the rescue activities, “ he said.
President Asif Ali Zardari has expressed deep shock and grief over the tragedy of a plane crash at Hussain Abad,near Islamabad on Friday that resulted in the loss of over one hundred precious lives as reported by the media.
The President while expressing his heartfelt condolences and sympa-thies with the affected families, directed the concerned authorities to take all measures expeditiously in the rescue operation and information desks be set up at Karachi and Islamabad airports to provide accurate and timely information to the affected families.
He directed that every possible facilities be extended to the affected families.
The President also directed to hold inquiry into the matter and that the report be submitted to the presidency. Meanwhile Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gi-lani has expressed deep grief over the tragic plane crash and ordered immediate rescue operation. The Prime Minister has ordered the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to gear up all its resources for rescue operation. An inquiry has been ordered headed by Group Captain Mujahid ul Islam, head of Safety Investigation Board, CAA. Two operation rooms have been set up at Benazir Bhutto Shaheed International Airport and Jinnah International Airport Karachi.
Belgian day of national mourning for coach crash dead
Church bells rang out after the minute's silence
Continue reading the main story
· In pictures: Victims mourned
· Swiss crash survivors return home
· In pictures: Swiss coach crash
Belgium is holding a day of national mourning to remember the 28 victims of the Switzerland coach crash.
The country came to a standstill for a minute's silence at 11:00 (10:00 GMT) and flags are being flown at half mast. After the minute's silence, church bells rang out.
The bodies of those killed have now been brought back to Belgium.
A convoy of hearses left Melsbroek military airport, carrying the white coffins.
Twenty-two of those killed when the coach struck the wall of a tunnel on the way back from a school skiing trip were children.
Eight of the injured children were flown home on Thursday and reports say that 12 more children were flown back to Belgium on Friday. All the adults on board the coach died.
It has emerged that one of the victims was an 11-year-old British boy who had been a pupil at St Lambertus School in Heverlee.
Sebastian Bowles's parents, Edward and Ann, flew to Brussels on Thursday night after identifying their son's body in Switzerland, a school spokesman confirmed.
The four most seriously injured children are being treated at hospitals in Lausanne and Bern.
The white coffins were taken from planes after landing at Melsbroek military airport
Family members of the dead children who had travelled to Switzerland visited the crash site on Thursday, some laying flowers in the tunnel.
Most of the victims of Tuesday night's crash were around 12 years old. In addition to the British boy, six of the dead children had Dutch nationality; the others were Belgian.
Giving the results of an autopsy of the driver, Swiss prosecutor Olivier Elsig said that there were no traces of alcohol in the blood.
He added that there was nothing to support the theory that the driver had been taken ill, AFP reported.
The authorities have also refused to comment on suggestions in Swiss and Belgian media that the coach driver may have been changing a DVD at the time of the crash.
Swiss police spokesman Renato Kalbermatten said CCTV from the tunnel did not confirm the disc theory, which he described as "pure speculation at this stage".
Swiss prosecutor Olivier Elsig said illness and alcohol were not behind the crash
Police earlier said that they did not believe the coach was speeding at the time of the crash.
The group had spent a week skiing in Val d'Anniviers in the Swiss Alps and were travelling home on one of three buses hired by a Christian group. The other two coaches reached Belgium safely.
Those on board the bus that crashed were from the Stekske primary school in Lommel, near the Dutch border, and from St Lambertus in Heverlee, near Leuven (Louvain).