Pakistan Plane Crash: No Chance Of Survivors

Police have said there is "no chance" of survivors after a passenger plane with 127 people on board crashed as it was trying to land in bad weather near Pakistan's capital Islamabad.

The aircraft came down in wheat fields around five miles from the city's Benazir Bhutto International Airport.

It is unclear whether anybody on the ground was killed.

The jet, operated by Pakistani domestic carrier Bhoja Air, had been flying from Karachi in the south of the country with 118 passengers and nine crew on board, the airline said.

Emergency teams have been at the site of the crash.

"There is no chance of any survivors. It will be only a miracle. The plane is totally destroyed," police officer Fazle Akbar said.

All hospitals in the capital and the nearby city of Rawalpindi were put on immediate alert.

The 27-year-old Boeing 737 was reportedly due to land at the airport at 6:50pm (local time) but lost contact with the control tower at 6:40pm and crashed shortly afterwards.

Asked if there were any survivors, a defence ministry official said: "So far there is no good news."

Saifur Rehman, an official from the police rescue team, said the plane crashed in Hussain Abad village.

He told Geo television: "Fire erupted after the crash. The wreckage is on fire, the plane is completely destroyed.

"We have come with teams of firefighters and searchlights and more rescuers are coming."

TV footage showed torn fragments of the fuselage, including a large section bearing the airline's logo.

Rescue teams combed through the charred wreckage of the plane as passengers' belongings, including clothes, shoes and jewellery lay strewn on the ground.

Residents said they had seen a ball of fire in the sky when the plane crashed.

They also said they heard a loud bang when the flight came down and a blaze at the village near the airport has been put out.

Rain and wind were lashing parts of the capital around the same time as the crash.

At the airport, a tearful man who had been waiting for the flight yelled "my two daughters are dead".

He then slumped on the floor and sat silently as other relatives of passengers crowded around lists of those on board.

The airline started flying again earlier this month after a 12-year gap.

It was grounded by the Civil Aviation Authority in October 2000 for failing to pay bills.

Speaking about the crash, aviation safety analyst Chris Yates told Sky News: "This comes at a particularly bad time for an airline that is re-entering the market in Pakistan."

The worst aviation tragedy on Pakistani soil happened in July 2010 when an Airbus 321 passenger jet operated by the private airline Airblue crashed into hills near Islamabad while coming in to land after a flight from Karachi.

All 152 people on board were killed in the accident, which occurred amid heavy rain and poor visibility.

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