LIVE: Pakistani International Airlines plane carrying 48 on board crashes

Pakistan flight PK-661 went missing while it was on its way to Islamabad from Chitral.

plane2 Site of the plane crash in Abbottabad. (Source: local police/ Dawn news)

A Pakistan International Airlines flight carrying 48 on board, including five crew members, one ground engineer and 42 passengers, crashed near Abbottabad, Pakistani media reported on Wednesday. PIA flight PK-661 went off the radar while it was on its way to Islamabad from Chitral. Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority reportedly confirmed that the aircraft sent a distress signal shortly before it lost radio contact with air traffic control. The plane, an ATR-42,  reportedly developed engine problems on its left wing and disappeared off radar. People living near the crash site heard a loud bang, consistent with that of a plane crash, according to Aviation Herald. The mountainous terrain has hindered rescue operations, according to news reports. The chances of finding survivors appears highly unlikely.

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plane Plane wreckage. (Source: Local police/ Dawn news)

Dawn reported that the Army have been mobilised and helicopters were deployed to the crash site near Havelian, Abbottabad. Singer and television-evangelist Junaid Jamsheed was  on board with his family. A PIA spokesperson said that “all forces are being mobilised to locate the aircraft”. The airliner released the following helpline numbers:  0092-91-99044890, 0092-91-99044376 and 0092-21-99044394. Local media reported that the flight took off from Chitral around 3.30 pm and was scheduled to arrive at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad around 4.40 pm.


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