PK661 crash: Funeral prayers in absentia offered for victims

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Funeral prayers for all on board PK661 were offered today Peshawar Press Club today, Thursday December 8. The ill-fated Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight crashed after one of its two turboprop engines failed. The flight took off from Chitral and was en route Islamabad.

Junaid Jamshed death

In line with accounts narrated by the witnesses, part of the plane wreckage remained on fire for more than five hours after it hit the ground. “The bodies were burnt so badly we could not recognize whether they were women or men. We put into sacks whatever we could find… and carried them down to the ambulance.”

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As a result of the plane bursting into flames all of the dead bodies were completely burnt therefore identification process was impossible. For this reason, a testing will be used to identify the 48 charred dead bodies.

The ill-fated plane hit the ground near a small village called Saddha Batolni near Havelian, as detailed by the PIA’s spokesperson. In line with a previous official statement the plane had lost contact. “We regret to inform that PIA’s ATR-42 aircraft operating as PK661, carrying around 40 persons lost its contact with control tower on its way from Chitral to Islamabad a short while ago. All resources are being mobilized to locate the aircraft. Media will be kept informed as situation develops.

PIA’s emergency response center has been activated and can be accessed at following phone numbers for updates:0092-21-99044890, 0092-21-99044376 and 0092-21-99044394,” PIA’s Public Affairs Division stated.

For this reason, an information cell has also been set up at Islamabad’s PIMS hospital with the contact number 051-9260340. In order to identify the victims using DNA tests. In this regard, a hospital official at Ayub Medical Complex in Abbottabad stated that “Not one body was intact.” Another official at Ayub Medical Complex stated that six of the dead bodies had been identified through fingerprints.

On the other hand, one of the senior rescuer said: “The villagers told us that the plane was shaky before it crashed. It was about to hit the village but it seems that the pilot managed to drag the plane towards the hills.”