Plane crash casualties in Islamabad, Pakistan difficult to be determined: officials

21:59, July 28, 2010      

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Smoke rises from the site a jetliner crashed near Islamabad, capital of Pakistan, July 28, 2010. An Airblue jetliner 152 people including six crew members onboard crashed near Pakistan's capital Islamabad Wednesday morning. (Xinhua/Zeeshan iyazi)

The casualties of the plane crash which took place in the Margalla hills in the Pakistani capital Islamabad Wednesday morning are difficult to be determined as it was difficult to collect the body parts blown apart on the crash site, said officials with the rescue team.

So far 48 bodies have been recovered at the crash site, said sources to Xinhua, adding that plastic bags are badly needed for collecting the parts of the bodies.

The people killed in the plane crash included six members of a family, seven children and a newly married couple who planned to come to Islamabad for honeymoon, said sources.

At about 10:00 am local time Wednesday morning, an airbus 320 with flight number ED-202 carrying 147 people including six crew members crashed in the Margalla Hills lying to the northeast part of Islamabad minutes before it was supposed to land at the capital 's airport.

Earlier reports say that there were 159 people aboard the plane, but 12 out of them, who planned to travel on this flight, did not turn up.

Though there are reports saying some survivors have been found on the crash site, there is no official confirmation about this. Sources at the rescue site said that the chance for surviving the plane crash is very slim.

The plane, which belonged to a local private airliner named Airblue, was on its way from Turkey to Islamabad via Karachi. It took off from the Karachi International Airport at about 7:50 am local time Wednesday morning.

The plane lost the contact with the control tower of the Islamabad airport at about 9:43 am local time before the crash. Before the crash, the control tower of the Islamabad airport has reportedly given the approval for the plane to land at the airport.

Among all the people aboard, there were reportedly 20 women and five children.

Among the dead bodies recovered from the site which is still on fire and surrounded by smoke, the dead body of the pilot has been identified.

No foreigners have been found on the passenger name list released shortly after the plane crash, sources told Xinhua after talking on the telephone to the Airblue airliner which the crashed plane belonged to.

The Chinese Embassy to Pakistan told Xinhua that no Chinese citizens were aboard the plane after it had confirmed with the Pakistani Interior Ministry.

Hundreds of people including troops, police, firemen, doctors and local residents are fighting the rains and difficult terrains in the Margalla Hills where the plane crashed to join the research and rescue operation.

A whole battalion of troops in addition to seven military helicopters are involved in the rescue work.

The crash site is deep in the mountains and rescue workers had to walk over an hour to reach the site, said sources on the site, adding that rescue workers had to cut down trees to build the pads for the landing of helicopters to lift the victims out of the crash site.

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