July 29, 2010

The rain delayed rescue plane crash in Pakistan remains

ISLAMABAD - Heavy monsoon rains in Islamabad on Thursday, hampering rescue efforts at the site where a day before Pakistan's plane crashed with 152 people aboard, said a senior police official.

The Airbus 321, the private airline Airblue crashed Wednesday in a steep, wooded hill in Islamabad shortly before landing after a flight from the port city of Karachi in the south of the country.

Believed to thick fog and heavy rain most likely causes of the worst aviation accident on Pakistani soil.

Bin Yameen, deputy inspector general of police in Islamabad, told Reuters that the operation to recover the remains of the victims could not resume due to torrential rain. The difficult access to the area also complicated the efforts of rescuers.

"We are waiting for the rain to stop. In this climate, no helicopters can fly or rescue teams move easily," added the official.

"Can we try but it seems very difficult to carry out an operation in difficult terrain," he said.

The researchers were studying the causes of the accident, said Ayaz Jadoon, the Civil Aviation Administration.

"They will analyze the recordings and documents, although they can not get there by bad weather," she said, adding that the black box device had not been recovered.


The airport control tower was sealed, and were examining the radio conversations between aircraft and the tower.

The torrential rain may also have damaged or diluted in the test scene.

"Time is very precious," said research team leader, Khawaja Abdul Majeed, a Dawn News television after arriving in Islamabad on Wednesday evening from Karachi.

"We have to gather evidence as quickly as possible, so do not have much time," he added.

While Wednesday's crash is the worst aviation in Pakistan, the state airline PIA has suffered worst accidents. In 1979 and 1992, PIA aircraft crashed in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) and Kathmandu (Nepal), killing 156 and 167 people respectively.

Within Pakistan, the last major plane crash was in 2006 when a PIA plane crashed near the city of Multan, killing 45 people.

Federal Information Minister said late Wednesday that rescuers recover 115 bodies had been all day after the incident.

A hospital official, Tahir Nadeem, said 59 bodies had been identified and removed by their relatives.

- Written By Divya Joy -

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