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Pakistan plane crash kills all 152 aboard

The airliner, en route from Karachi to Islamabad, was flying through heavy fog and rain when it lost contact with air traffic controllers. Two Americans are among the dead.

July 28, 2010|By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Islamabad — A Pakistani passenger jet with 152 people aboard crashed Wednesday in a forested ridge outside Pakistan's capital, Islamabad. It was not known whether there were any survivors.

The Airblue airliner, on its way from Karachi to the capital, had been flying through heavy fog and rain when it lost contact with air traffic control and crashed about 10 a.m. local time in the Margalla Hills region, authorities said.

Rescuers were trying to reach the scene amid heavy rain and difficult roads.

Pervaiz George, spokesman for the Pakistani Civil Aviation Authority, said there were 146 passengers and six crew members aboard.

Saqlain Altaf told Pakistan's ARY news channel that he was on a family outing in the hills when he saw the plane, looking unsteady in the air.

"The plane had lost balance, and then we saw it going down," he said, adding that he heard the crash.

Television footage of the crash site showed smoke and burning debris strewn in a swath cutting through the forest.

Authorities said the flight had originated in Turkey and was on its way to Islamabad via Karachi, Pakistan's largest city. Officials had not determined the cause of the crash.

alex.rodriguez@latimes.com

Times wire services contributed to this report.

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