Pakistan plane with 47 people crashes

Islamabad, Dec 7 (IANS) A Pakistani plane carrying 47 passengers and crew on a domestic flight to Islamabad crashed in the northern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Wednesday, the media reported.

The passengers on the small plane operated by the state-run Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) included noted pop singer-turned-evangelist Junaid Jamshed, Dawn newspaper said.

It said the aircraft crashed on way to Islamabad from the northern town of Chitral after losing contact with the air traffic control.

Citing global aviation watchdog Aviation Herald, the newspaper reported that the plane went down near Abbottabad “due to engine problems”.

Laiq Shah, a police official in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said the plane crashed in Havelian area in the province.

Soldiers and army helicopters were mobilised to rush to the crash site, said Inter-Services Public Relations, the army’s media wing.

The flight departed from Chitral at 3.30 p.m. and was to land at Islamabad’s Benazir Bhutto International Airport around 4.40 p.m. But it went missing from the radar around 4.30 p.m.

PIA spokesperson Daniyal Gilani earlier said the aircraft was missing and efforts to locate it were on.

“We regret to inform that PIA’s ATR-42 aircraft operating as PK-661, carrying around 40 persons, lost its contact with the control tower on its way from Chitral to Islamabad,” Gilani said.

“All resources are being mobilised to locate the aircraft.”

–IANS

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