Heavy rains halt bodies' search efforts at Pakistan crash site

15:08, July 29, 2010      

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Heavy rains halt bodies' search efforts at Pakistan crash site

Rescue workers search the wreckage of an Airblue passenger plane which crashed on the outskirts of Islamabad July 28, 2010. A Pakistani passenger plane crashed in heavy rain near Islamabad on Wednesday, killing all 152 people on board, officials said, in the worst aviation accident in Pakistan. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Heavy rains and bad weather on Thursday hampered efforts of the rescue teams at the site of the air crash of a Pakistani passenger plane, which killed 152 passengers and crew members.

The Airbus of the private Airblue airlines crashed on Wednesday into the hills surrounding Islamabad, the capital city of the Pakistan.

Rescue teams have recovered most of the bodies but are still searching for others at the highly rough terrain Margallah Hills, in the north of Islamabad. Police had blocked the road at the Margallah Hills for traffic and the people on foot as some relatives had been trying to climb up to the crash site.

The rescue and relief efforts were abandoned late Wednesday night due to low visibility and the teams were on way to the crash site Thursday morning but heavy rains stopped them to resume work. Officials said that 13 bodies are still trapped in the wreckage of the plane.

Officials also fear landslide of the wooded Margalla Hills, advising the people not to approach the crash site. Rescue teams will also collect baggages and other items of the victims.

The Airblue flight ED-202, flying from Karachi to Islamabad, came down in the Margalla Hills at about 9:45 a.m. local time, aviation officials said. All 146 passengers and six crew members died at the scene. Two American nationals were among those killed in the incident.

The teams are also searching for the black box which will determine real causes of the crash. Earlier, state television had quoted the information minister as claiming recovery of the black box. He later denied the report.

Some 105 mutilated bodies had been shifted to the Islamabad's main hospital and identification process is underway. Health officials said that nearly 50 bodies have been identified and handed over to the relatives.

A special center has been set up in Islamabad for DNA tests of the bodies and chief commissioner of Islamabad said that the process can take a week.

World leaders, including United Nations Secretary General, have sent condolences to Pakistani leaders and some also phoned to express sympathy.

A team of the experts of Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority will also begin inquiry Thursday to determine real causes of the crash, officials said. A 5-member inquiry board, headed by Chairman Aviation Safety Investigation Board, Air Commodore, Abdul Majid Khawaja, is holding investigation.

Source: Xinhua


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