Aviation News

April 20, 2012

No Survivors as Airliner Carrying 127 People Crashes Near Islamabad Airport [UPDATED]

Rough location of the crash site, about 1 mile from the end of the Benzair Bhutto International Airport runway. (Map via Google)
Rough location of the crash site, about 1 mile from the end of the Benzair Bhutto International Airport runway. (Map via Google)
A Bhoja Air Boeing 737 with 127 people on board has crashed while attempting to land at Islamabad’s Benazir Bhutto International Airport. There was no immediate word on the condition of the passengers.

The Boeing 737-200 went down about 1 mile (2 km) from the end of the runway in the town of Rawalpindi. There were reports that weather was poor at the time of the accident.

Bhoja Air’s website indicated that the flight was the young airline’s inaugural service between Karachi and Islamabad.

Bhoja Air was founded in 2011, but did not commence service until last month. The Karachi-based carrier operates a fleet of three Boeing 737-200s, one 737-400 and one McDonnell Douglas DC-9.

In July 2010, an Airblue Airbus A321 crashed into Islamabad’s Margalla Hills, also while approaching the airport from Karachi. All 152 people on that flight were killed.

UPDATE 11:05 AM ET: New footage of the crash site shows mangled wreckage, indicating a violent crash. Crushed passenger seats and small plane parts are visible, but no large parts were seen intact.

Screen grab of plane crash wreckage from Pakistan's GEO TV.

Screen grab of plane crash wreckage from Pakistan's GEO TV.

UPDATE 11:32 AM ET: Pakistan Police say there is “no chance” that anyone onboard survived the crash.

UPDATE 12:19 PM ET: The plane crashed into a village about 3 miles (10 km) east of the airport. It was not clear if anyone on the ground was injured.