A Pakistani plane which crashed killing all 48 passengers and crew on board was on fire before it crashed, according to witnesses.
The Pakistan International Airlines flight lost communication with air traffic control after taking off from the Northern Chitral region. It is understood that the pilot managed to make a Mayday call before the flight went down into the mountains.
Following the crash, the wreckage of the flight could be seen on fire, with plumes of smoke continuing to drift skywards. Among those on board was well known Pakistani singer and actor Janaid Jamshed. Two children are also understood to have among those who died.
Pakistani officials have confirmed that all 48 people on the plane died. The British boxer Amir Khan, who was a friend of Mr Jamshed, said that his heart went out to families who had lost their loved ones in the tragedy.
Witnesses said that there was no chance anyone on board would have survived the smash. Abbotabad mayor Sardar Buhadar said that all bodies recovered so far from the crash site apart from two had been beyond recognition. The mayor added: “They are pieces and not bodies. Most of the pieces are in mutilated and in burnt form. We have decided to shift them to Islamabad early tomorrow. They can only be recognised through DNA test.”
The craft came down in mountains close to Batolvi village. A witness who lives in the villge said she saw the plan going down before he crashed into mountains with a bang and then caught fire. Zahid Khan, 37, said: “I along with several others rushed to the crash site. It took me hiking of more than an hour to reach the site. I saw terrible scenes there. I saw burnt human faces, arms and legs.”
The witness said that they tried to recover bodies, but they were in pieces, with body parts scattered across a wide area.