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Airliner crashes near Islamabad airport

21. April 2012. | 04:20

Source: MIA

A plane carrying up to 127 people has crashed in a residential area near Islamabad international airport, BBC reports.

A plane carrying up to 127 people has crashed in a residential area near Islamabad international airport, BBC reports.

Aviation officials said the Bhoja Air jet, flight BHO-213, was flying from Karachi to Islamabad when it crashed in bad weather near Chaklala, Rawalpindi.

Emergency teams are at the crash site, reported to be at Hussain Abad village, a few miles from the airport.

There are no reports of survivors. Rescue teams are trying to assess if there are any casualties on the ground.

Reports suggest the plane, believed to be a Boeing 737 carrying 118 passengers and nine crew, was making its final approach to the airport when the crash happened.

Saifur Rehman, from a police rescue team, told Geo TV: "Fire erupted after the crash. The wreckage is on fire, the plane is completely destroyed.

The jet left Karachi at around 17:00 local time (12:00 GMT) and was due to arrive at 18:50 (13:50 GMT).

A police official at the crash site, Fazle Akbar, told AFP news agency said the plane was totally destroyed and it would be a miracle if there were any survivors.

Defence minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhar said the plane burst into flames before it came down a few miles from the airport.

There were reports of severe rainstorms in the area at the time, but it is likely to take investigators weeks to determine the cause of the crash.

Bhoja Air is a small new commercial airline which was started about 10 years ago but closed because of financial difficulties. It recently re-opened.

Last July, an Airbus A321 crashed as it was about to land in Islamabad, killing all 152 people on board.

Although Pakistan's air industry has been booming, critics say standards have not always kept pace with the increase in services.


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