A Pakistani airline carrying 116 passengers and up to six crew members, crashed near Islamabad's international airport, killing everyone on board.
The Bhoja Air Boeing 737-200 was traveling from Pakistan's biggest city and largest commercial hub in country, Karachi, to the capital of Islamabad. Officials said bad weather is to plane for the plane crashing just about five nautical miles from the airport, reported Reuters.
We can see the plane's wreckage is on fire and we are trying to extinguish it, emergency official Saifur Rehman, reported The Globe and Mail. We are looking for survivors.
It is unclear if anyone on the ground was killed, but the crashed happened in an unpopulated farmland area. Emergency workers and bystanders used flashlights as they searched through the wreckage and body parts for any signs of life.
Heavy rain and wind ravaged the city as the plane approached Benazir Bhutto International Airport. The plane went down approximately 6:40 p.m.
The plane crashed a few hundred yards (meters) away, said Mohammad Zubair, who was threshing wheat, reported the Associated Press. The flames leapt up like they were touching the sky.
Local TV footage showed the wreckage of the near a small building, reported the Globe and Mail. State television reported that all of the hospitals were put on high alert after the crash in anticipation survivors, reported Reuters. However, Defense Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhar said he does not think anyone could have survived the wreck.
The airline has yet to comment on the incident as authorities continue to investigate the cause of the crash. However, preliminary results of the investigation conclude the pilot veered off course while in the storm scorching a wide swath of the hillside and scattering wreckage over a kilometer (half-mile) stretch, reported the Associated Press.
The last time a plane went down in the county was in July 2010 when an Airbus A321 aircraft operated by Airblue crashed in the hills near Islamabad. That was the worst plane crash in the country in which 152 people on board was killed.