Pakistani passenger plane PK-661 crashes near Abbottabad with 48 on board, all feared dead

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PIA flight PK661 crash near Abbottabad
PIA flight PK661 crash near Abbottabad

Los Angeles : In a tragedy that killed 48 people on board, a Pakistan International Airlines plane crashed and burst into flames in a hilly area near Pakistan's Abbottabad on Wednesday. The plane faced its tragic end after facing engine problems.

According to initial reports, all 48 people on board including famous pop singer-turned-Islamic preacher Junaid Jamshed and three foreigners, were feared dead.

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane PK-661 departed from Chitral around 3.30pm and was expected to land at Islamabad's Benazir Bhutto International Airport at around 4.40pm.

However, it crashed in Saddha Batolni village near Pakistan Ordinance Factory, Havelian, while en route to Islamabad from Chitral in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

So far 21 bodies have been recovered; the list of 48 people includes Junaid Jamshed, his wife and Deputy Commissioner Chitral Osama Warraich,

The PIA spokesman Daniyal Gilani confirmed to media that there were 42 passengers, five crew members and one ground engineer on board. “The pilot of the ill-fated plane gave a 'mayday' distress call+ to traffic control before it went off the radar and crashed near the garrison town of Abbottabad. The debris of the plane has been found. So far there is no indication of anyone's survival."

 Aviation Secretary Irfan Ilahi while speaking to reporters confirmed that the ATR-42 turboprob plane suffered engine problems thus resulting in crash.