RAWALPINDI, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) — A Bhoja Air passenger plane carrying 127 passengers and crew members crashed early Friday evening while attempting to land at an airport near the country’s capital of Islamabad, killing an unknown number of people, rescue workers said.
The accident happened at approximately 6:45 p.m. local time when Bhoja Air flight 213 was preparing to land during bad weather at Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Rawalpindi, a city near Islamabad. The aircraft, a Boeing 737, was on a flight from Pakistan’s largest city of Karachi.
Rescue workers said the aircraft crashed in a densely populated area known as Loi Bheer, near Hussainabad, about 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from the runway at Benazir Bhutto International Airport. Footage shown on Pakistani television stations showed parts of the aircraft, heavily burned bodies, and damaged houses.
The Pakistani Ministry of Defense said 118 passengers, including five babies, and nine crew members were on board the aircraft. Rescue workers reported seeing bodies of children, women and men at the scene, and aviation officials said it is believed everyone on board the plane was killed.
It was not immediately known if there were casualties on the ground, but emergencies were declared at all hospitals in both Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Aviation accidents in Pakistan are relative rare. In July 2010, a total of 152 people were killed when Airblue flight 202 crashed into the Margalla Hills near Islamabad while attempting to land at Benazir Bhutto International Airport. There were no survivors in the crash, which remains the country’s most deadliest aviation accident to date.