Pakistan launches investigation into plane crash | News | DW | 21.04.2012
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Pakistan launches investigation into plane crash

Pakistan has started an investigation into the cause of a crash that killed 127 people near Islamabad. The head of the airline, Bhoja Air, has been banned from leaving the country.

The crash occurred Friday evening near Islamabad's Benazir Bhutto International Airport as the domestic flight from Karachi was heading in for landing.

Just miles from its destination, the airplane came into bad weather, causing a crash landing, after which, the Boeing 737 immediately went up in flames.

All 127 people onboard, including 121 passengers and six crew members died in the crash. Efforts to identify the bodies continue.

Speaking from the site of the crash, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Saturday that Farooq Bhoja, head of the airline Bhoja Air, had been banned from travel for the duration of the investigation.

"It is being said that the aircraft was pretty old, so it has been ordered to investigate thoroughly the air worthiness of the Bhoja Air aircraft," Malik told reporters.

The aircraft's flight recorder was recovered on Saturday.

Bhoja Air started operations in 1993 but had to cease in 2001 due to financial trouble. The airline only recently started operating again.

The country's last major crash took place in 2010, when an Airbus A321 operated by domestic carrier Airblue also crashed near Islamabad, killing all 152 people onboard.

sb/ncy (dpa, AP)