Day of Mourning Being Observed in Pakistan After Deadly Aircrash

POSTED BY , UPDATED ON August 21st, 2013

View of crash sight

Pakistan observed a day of mourning Thursday for the 152 people (including 6 crew members) who died when a passenger plane went down in the outskirts of the capital Islamabad the day before.

The Airblue plane was headed to Islamabad from the sea port city of Karachi when it crashed in a hillside while trying to land.

Plane Crash Islamabad

The civil aviation authority said the plane had been ordered to take an alternative approach to the runway, but had veered off course. Finding out why will be a key task of the investigation team, said Riazul Haq, director general of the Civil Aviation Authority.

“The fact remains it flew where it should not have done,” he said.

The crash was the latest tragedy to jolt a country that has seen thousands of deaths in recent years from al-Qaida and Taliban attacks.

The U.S. Embassy said at least two American citizens were on the plane, an Airbus A321, which was carrying 146 passengers and six crew members.

Raheel Ahmed, a spokesman for the airline, said the plane had no known technical issues, and the pilots did not send any emergency signals. Airbus said it would provide technical assistance to the crash investigators.

Rescue Operation At Margalla Hills Islamabad

The deadliest crash occurred in September 1992 when a Pakistan International Airlines Airbus crashed into a mountain in Nepal, killing all 167 people on board, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

The incident was covered by media the whole day. Discussions were carried out upon the possible reasons of the crash. All famous talk shows were filled with the discussion about the crash and its aftermath. Questions were raised about the prevention of the incident that would it have been possible to avoid it? The authentic answer though can only be given after thorough investigation.

The massive rescue operation soon changed its role from finding survivors to collecting body parts of the victims which continued throughout Wednesday daylight and into Thursday Morning.

Some bodies have been returned to their hometowns while other bodies are being identified. The relatives of the fallen victims were provided logistics  to travel to Islamabad for identification purposes.

It was announced earlier yesterday that the black box had been found but soon the statement was taken back and the search continued for the black box. The debris of the aircraft are spread over more than 400 yards of the tough mountainous terrain making matters worse.