There are no surviors after a Pakistan International Airlines jet crashed overnight into a mountain in the country’s north, killing all 47 on board.
In a statement released to press, PIA said the PK661 was carrying 47 people, including five crew members and 42 passengers. Three internationals were on board, two Austrians and one Chinese citizen.
“There are no survivors, no one has survived,” Muhammad Azam Saigol, the chairman for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), confirmed, Reuters reports.
A popular Pakistani pop star turned evangelical Muslim cleric has been reported to be among the victims of the crash.
Per Reuters, the airline said the captain of the flight had reported losing power in one engine minutes before the aircraft lost contact with the control tower en route to the capital, Islamabad.
The airline crashed in the Havelian area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, about 40 kilometres north of Islamabad. Chitral, where the flight originated, is a popular tourist destination in Pakistan.
Saigol was reported as saying the ATR turboprop aircraft had undergone regular maintenance and in October had passed an “A-check” maintenance certification.
He said a full investigation of the crash, involving international agencies, would be conducted.
“All of the bodies are burned beyond recognition. The debris are scattered,” Government official Taj Muhammad Khan said, the paper reports.
Khan said witnesses told him “the aircraft has crashed in a mountainous area, and before it hit the ground it was on fire”.
Irfan Elahi, the Government’s aviation secretary, told media the plane suffered engine problems but it was too early to determine the cause of the accident.
Image credit: SMH