Scores feared dead as airliner crashes in Pakistan

A Pakistani airliner with at least 131 people on board crashed in bad weather near Islamabad’s international airport on Friday, a civil aviation official said.

The civilian plane, which was traveling from Pakistan’s biggest city and commercial hub Karachi to the capital Islamabad, crashed about five nautical miles from the airport, said the official, Pervez George, without mentioning casualties.

Television channels showed charred parts of the aircraft strewn across a street in what appeared to be a residential area.

The aircraft was operated by local carrier Bhoja Air. The airline’s spokesperson, Jaser Abro, said 126 passengers were on board and up to six crew.

State television reported that all hospitals in Islamabad and the nearby city of Rawalpindi had been put on high alert after the crash.

The last major aviation accident in Pakistan occurred in July 2010, when a commercial airliner operated by AirBlue with 152 people on board crashed into the hills overlooking Islamabad.

In 2006, a Pakistan International Airlines aircraft crashed near the central city of Multan, killing 45 people.—Reuters

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