Islamabad – All 47 people on board the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight that crashed near Abbottabad on Wednesday were killed, confirmed Pakistani officials.
Civil Aviation Authority reported that all passengers were killed, while Army said it had recovered the bodies of 21 persons from the crash site.
Sohail Ahmed, a PIA official in Chitral, confirmed that the plane was carrying 42 passengers, including two infants, three foreigners and five crew listed on the passenger manifest.
Three people on board were foreign nationals, the airline has confirmed, with one of them from China. It is not yet known where the other two crash victims were from.
There were no immediate details on casualties, but Pakistan’s interior ministry has dispatched a team with experts on identifying bodies through DNA tests.
Taj Muhammad Khan, a government official based in the Havelian region, told Reuters: “All of the bodies are burned beyond recognition. The debris is scattered.”
The airline said the plane was an ATR-42 turboprop aircraft, which lost contact en route from Chitral.
‘The plane has crashed in a far-flung village in the mountains. One has to travel for more than four kilometers on foot to reach the spot. Villagers on site told us that the plane was first on fire and now smoke is rising from the wreckage,” said police official.
Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Pervez George told Reuters that: “Rescue teams are reaching the scene of the crash, and then we will know more.”
Geo News cited civil aviation sources saying the plane lost contact with civil aviation authority at around 4.30PM local time.
Local legislator Sardar Nalota told AFP there was ‘no chance’ anyone survived that horror crash.
The national carrier confirmed in a statement that Flight PK-661, from the city of Chitral to Islamabad, had lost contact with air traffic controllers.