AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan buried victims of an airline crash near Islamabad today that killed all 127 people on board, as investigators probed the causes of the fatal incident.
The Bhoja Air flight from Karachi came down in fields near a village on the outskirts of the Pakistani capital on Friday evening, in the city’s second major fatal air crash in less than two years. Thirteen of those killed were buried late yesterday in Islamabad and funerals for 36 other victims were held in Karachi and other cities early today, with more ceremonies expected in different cities throughout the day.
Television broadcasts showed footage of distraught relatives, weeping and hugging each other, as the dozens of coffins left Islamabad’s Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences hospital where the remains had been taken. Some nine dead bodies have not yet been identified and will undergo DNA tests, a hospital official said. Doctor Waseem Khawaja, in charge of Islamabad’s main hospital—-the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) told AFP that most of the bodies were beyond recognition and mutilated.
An AFP reporter who visited the hospital late yesterday said some of the remains still at the hospital were no more than body parts, stored on stretchers and covered by white sheets. Most of the bodies, handed over to the relatives were identified by their identity cards, jewellery, shoes, passports, watches, clothes and body parts, witnesses said.
An AFP photographer at the crash site today witnessed policemen cordoning off the whole area and not allowing local residents near.
Investigation teams were busy collecting evidence from the site where the wreckage of the plane, along with victims’ clothes and shoes, were visible.
Civil Aviation Authority director general Nadeem Khan Yusufzai said the plane suddenly dropped from 2,900 feet to 2,000 feet as it made its final approach to land, and vanished from the airport radar.