No Survivors in Pakistan Plane Crash, Investigation Underway
28 July 2010
A passenger plane has crashed into a remote hillside near Pakistan's capital, killing all 152 people on board, in the deadliest crash ever in the country.
Authorities say the Airblue jet was traveling from the southern port city of Karachi to Islamabad Wednesday, when it went down while trying to land in rainy and cloudy conditions.
Rescue teams and army helicopters were sent to the heavily-wooded area of Margalla Hills, but search and recovery efforts were hampered by difficult terrain and weather conditions.
At least 80 bodies have been recovered. The U.S. Embassy in Pakistan says two American citizens were killed in the crash. Six crew members were among the 152 people on board the flight.
Authorities say they have found the plane's cockpit recorder and have launched an investigation into why the plane went down.
Airblue spokesman Raheel Ahmad said the plane had no known technical issues and the pilots did not send any emergency signals. Witnesses in Islamabad say they saw the plane flying very low just before the crash.
The Pakistani government declared a day of national mourning. In Washington, U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, offered condolences to victims' families.
An Airblue spokesman says this was the first crash for the domestic and international private airline which began operations in 2004. Airblue is the second largest airline in the country after the state-run Pakistan International Airlines.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
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