A Pakistani P.I.A plane carrying 42 passengers, five crew members and one ground engineer has crashed in the country’s mountainous north killing all passengers on board including pop singer turned nasheed artist Junaid Jamshed and his family.
The flight pk661 came down in the village of Saddha Batolni in Abbottabad while travelling from the city Chitral to Islamabad but it is not clear what caused the crash, the civil aviation authority said.
Rescue workers and the military pulled dozens of bodies from the wreckage and officials expressed little hope for survivors.
So far 36 bodies have been recovered from the site of the crash with officials saying their is ‘no chance’ anyone survived.
Secretary Aviation Irfan Ilahi told reporters in Islamabad, Geo News reports: ‘It is premature to say anything at the moment, but we know that the aircraft had engine problems.’
The plane was around 10 years old, and had been involved in an incident in 2009, according to AirLive.
Taj Muhammad Khan, an official based in the Havelian region in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. said: “All of the bodies are burned beyond recognition. The debris is scattered,”
Pakistani TV channels reported that the jet lost contact with ground control and was missing shortly after taking off from the northern city of Chitral on Wednesday.
Jamshed had tweeted earlier in the week from Chitral saying Chitral was ‘Heaven on Earth.’
Tributes have poured out for Jamshed who first gained nationwide fame as a vocalist in the pop group Vital Signs.
In 2004 he renounced his music after announcing that he had devoted his life to Islam.
Adil Ray, who stars in the BBC One comedy Citizen Khan, said: “Very sad news of missing Pakistani flight. One of Pakistans most famous former pop stars on board. Huge loss. Thoughts with all families.”
Pakistani Cricketer Shoaib Akhtar and a close friend to Jamshed said: ‘My heart is drowning in sadness to learn about the air crash of Pia.. news feared my friends Junaid Jamshed and alay Akram was in it 2’