Pakistan plane carrying 47 crashes, reportedly on fire
REUTERS photoA Pakistani plane reportedly carrying 47 people crashed Dec. 7 in the mountainous north of the country and burst into flames, police and aviation authorities said, AFP reported.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Flight PK661 came down on a flight from the city of Chitral to Islamabad, the civil aviation authority said.
It was not immediately clear what caused the crash or whether there were survivors.
Rescuers were still struggling to reach the remote site near the town of Havelian in Abbottabad district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
But villagers had told police they were retrieving body parts from the wreckage, Ilyas Abbasi, a police official in Havelian, told AFP.
“The plane has crashed in a far-flung village in the mountains. One has to travel for more than four kilometers on foot to reach the spot,” he said.
“Villagers on site told us that the plane was first on fire and now smoke is rising from the wreckage.”
The airline said the plane was an ATR-42 turboprop aircraft, which lost contact en route from Chitral.
“A plane has crashed and locals told us that it is on fire,” Saeed Wazir, a senior local police official, said earlier.
“Police and rescue officials are on the way,” he said, but were facing difficulties reaching the site due to darkness, bad roads and difficult terrain.
Among those on board was Junaid Jamshed, a former Pakistani pop star turned evangelical Muslim who was embroiled in a blasphemy controversy in 2014, according to the Chitral airport manager and a local police official.
The singer’s Twitter account had said he was in Chitral. Tributes were pouring in for the former musician on social media.
The terrain around Havelian is hilly, roughly the same altitude as the Margalla Hills which overlook Islamabad.