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21 killed in Karachi plane crash

Friday November 05, 2010 03:06:05 PM, IANS

Islamabad: At least 21 people, most of them employees of a foreign oil company, were killed Friday when a small plane crashed near Karachi airport in southern Pakistan.

The aircraft of private airliner JS Air had taken off from Karachi airport for an oil field at Bhit Shah when it crashed a few minutes later.

The plane was chartered by a private Italian company to carry its employees working at the oil field, Aaj TV reported.

According to earlier Geo TV reports, the airplane was chartered by a US company working on the oil field in Sindh province, of which Karachi is the capital.

The pilot reportedly informed air control tower about some problem with the engine shortly after taking off, Aaj TV said.

"The blackbox of the aircraft has been recovered and investigations have been launched to detect the cause of crash," said civil aviation spokesman Pervez George.

JS Air spokesman Nadeem Hanif said the plane was fit to fly and had been cleared by the maintenance staff. "It is premature to say anything about the cause of crash," he said.

Director General Civil Aviation, Air Commodore (Retd) Nasim Ahmad, said that all passengers on board the plane have died. "All bodies have been shifted to the nearby Agha Khan Hospital," he said.

Rescue officials said that the bodies had been badly burnt and were not easily identifiable. "DNA tests will have to be conducted to identity those killed," he said.

All victims were Pakistani nationals, the report said. Heart-rending scenes were witnessed in the hospital as relatives of the crash victims reached there.

In July this year, more than 100 people on board a private Pakistani airline flight from Karachi were killed when the jet crashed in Margalla Hills near Islamabad. Eighteen bodies have not been recovered yet.



(Awais Saleem can be contacted at ians.pakistan@gmail.com)

 

 

 

 

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