No one survived the crash of a Pakistani passenger plane that went down in the outskirts of the capital Islamabad Wednesday morning with 152 people on board, officials said. Rescuers worked in heavy rains to recover bodies from the wreckage, as officials launched an investigation to determine why the accident occurred.
Crews combing through the debris have recovered a so-called “black box” — which is actually orange — that is either the craft’s flight data recorder or cockpit voice recorder, according to Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Kingdom. Information from the recorder will help authorities determine the cause of the tragedy. Initially, Pakistani Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira and Interior Minister Rehman Malik reported survivors in the crash. Kaira said there were eight survivors and Malik said there were six.
But Kaira said the initial information received from the scene was incorrect, and both men later said no one survived the crash.
The Airblue plane was headed to Islamabad from the sea port city of Karachi when it crashed in a hillside while trying to land, said Pervez George, a spokesman for the country’s civil aviation authority. The Airbus A321 was carrying 146 passengers and six crew members, George and AirBlue said. The U.S. Embassy in Pakistan said two of the people aboard were American citizens.
Raheel Ahmed, an AirBlue representative, told CNN that among the passengers, 110 were male, 29 were female, five children and two infants. Ahmed said the pilot was Capt. Pervez Iqbal Chauhdary, one of the airline’s top pilots with 35 years and more than 25,000 hours of flying experience.
They are saying heavy rain and lightning may be the cause, but a plane like this should be able to endure inclement weather. So sad…R.I.P.