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Pakistan Mourns 152 Dead In Air Crash

July 29, 2010

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has sent condolences to Pakistan after 152 people were killed in the crash of a Pakistani airliner.

A UN statement described Ban as "deeply saddened" over the crash, and said the UN chief had written to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to express the sincere sympathy of the UN.

The Pakistani government has declared July 29 to be a day of mourning for victims of the crash, which is described as the deadliest aviation incident ever on Pakistani territory.

The Airbus 321 jet, operated by the private Pakistani airline Airblue, went down in heavy rains and thick clouds on July 28 in the heavily-wooded Margalla Hills area near the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

It had been flying to Islamabad from the southern port city of Karachi.

Officials said the heavy rains and fog are considered the most likely reasons for the crash, but the investigation of the cause is continuing.

Reports say searchers are still trying to recover the plane's "black box" flight-data recorder, which could provide information about the cause of the crash.

Officials say most of those on board the aircraft were Pakistanis. The U.S. Embassy said two Americans had also been on board.

compiled from agency reports

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/Pakistan_Mourns_152_Dead_In_Air_Crash/2112626.html

Copyright (c) 2010. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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