Pakistani plane crash near Islamabad kills all - 7-28-2010
A passenger jet crashed into the hills overlooking Pakistan's capital amid poor weather Wednesday, killing all 152 people on board and blazing a path of devastation strewn with body parts and twisted metal wreckage.
It was the worst plane crash ever in Pakistan, and rescue workers battled fires and muddy conditions as they searched in vain to find survivors on the densely wooded hillside where the flight went down.
"The situation at the site of the crash is heartbreaking," said Imtiaz Elahi, chairman of the Capital Development Authority, which deals with emergencies and reports to the Interior Ministry. "It is a great tragedy, and I confirm it with pain that there are no survivors."
The dead included two U.S. citizens, said the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad without providing further details.
The crash left twisted metal wreckage hanging from trees and scattered across the ground on a bed of broken branches. Clouds of dense gray smoke rose up from the burning wreckage as a helicopter hovered above.
"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 cause of the crash was not immediately clear, but Defense Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar said the government does not suspect terrorism.
The plane left the southern city of Karachi at 7:45 a.m. for a two-hour Airblue flight to Islamabad and was trying to land during cloudy and rainy weather, said Pervez George, a civil aviation official.
Airblue is a private service based in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, and Wednesday's flight was believed to be carrying mostly Pakistanis.
Rescue workers scouring the heavily forested hills recovered nearly 80 bodies from the wreckage, said Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority in a statement.
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