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28 Jul 2010 12:16
Rescue workers have recovered the bodies of more than 80 people from a Pakistani jet that crashed near Islamabad on Wednesday, and the remains are being airlifted, the city’s police chief said.
“We are still busy in the search operation to recover more bodies as quickly as possible,” Bani Amin told AFP.
“We have found more than 80 bodies and they are being airlifted,” said Amin, who is supervising the rescue operation on site.
The Airbus 321 operated by private airline Airblue crashed into the Margalla Hills overlooking the Pakistani capital on Wednesday, while coming into land with at least 150 people on board following a flight from Karachi.
There had been heavy monsoon rains in the area for at least a couple of days.
Airblue began operations in 2004 with a fleet of Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft, according to its website.
Spokesperson Raheel Ahmed said this was the first crash for the airline and that an investigation was being launched.
“It’s too early to speculate,” he said about the cause of the crash.
“The civil aviation authorities will also be involved.”
Airbus confirmed one of its planes was involved in the Airblue crash.
“We regret to confirm there has been an accident with an Airbus aircraft and we will provide more information when we have more confirmed data available,” said Airbus spokesperson Stefan Schaffrath.
At Islamabad’s international airport, passengers in the departure lounge scanned the television screens for news.—AFP, Reuters
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