All 152 aboard die as Pakistani jet crashes into mountains

ISLAMABAD: A passenger jet crashed into the hills surrounding Pakistan’s capital in poor weather yesterday, killing all 152 people on board and blazing a path of devastation strewn with body parts and twisted metal wreckage.Officials said initial Interior Ministry reports that five people survived the crash were wrong.Local TV footage showed twisted metal wreckage hanging from trees and scattered across the ground on a bed of broken branches. Fire was visible and smoke rose from the scene as a helicopter hovered above. The army said it was sending special troops to aid the search.”I’m seeing only body parts,” Dawar Adnan, a rescue worker with the Pakistan Red Crescent, said by telephone from the crash site. ”This is a very horrible scene. We have scanned almost all the area, but there is no chance of any survivors.”The search effort was hampered by muddy conditions and smouldering wreckage that authorities were having trouble extinguishing by helicopter.GEO television reported yesterday evening that the flight recorder had been found.The cause of the crash was not immediately clear, but the Defence Minister, Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, said the government did not suspect terrorism.The Airblue plane left the southern city of Karachi at 7.45am for a two-hour scheduled flight to Islamabad and was trying to land during cloudy and rainy weather.Airblue is a private service based in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, and yesterday’s flight was believed to be carrying mostly Pakistanis.The crash site covered a large area on both sides of the hills, including a section behind Faisal Mosque, one of Islamabad’s most prominent landmarks, and not far from the Daman-e-Koh resort.At the Islamabad airport, hundreds of friends and relatives of those on board the flight swarmed ticket counters desperately seeking information.Pakistan last suffered a fatal air crash in July 2006, when a Pakistan International Airlines Fokker F-27 suffered engine problems and struck a power line after taking off from Multan, in Punjab province, killing 45 people.In 1989 a PIA Fokker F-27 crashed in the Karakoram Mountains, killing 54.Associated Press, Bloomberg
Nanjing Night Net