Airblue A321 accident kills 152 passengers
Airbus confirmed (28-Jul-2010) that an Airbus A321 operated by Airblue was involved in an accident shortly after 09:45 Pakistan local time. The aircraft was operating a scheduled service, Flight ED 202, from Karachi to Islamabad. The aircraft was leased to Airblue in Jan-2006. The aircraft had accumulated approximately 34,000 flight hours in 13,500 flights. Airbus is not part of the accident investigation commission but will provide all necessary support to the French Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses (BEA) and the authorities responsible for the accident investigation. [more - Airbus]
Airblue stated (28-Jul-2010) the flight crashed during poor weather and thick fog. The airline stated it is investigating the exact circumstances. [more -Airblue]
The Airblue flight had reportedly been awaiting landing clearance at Islamabd Benazir Bhutto International Airport, circling in heavy rain and then flying toward the Margalla Hills (AP, 29-Jul-2010).
Pakistan’s Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, stated the area the flight entered is a “no-fly zone” (AP, 29-Jul-2010). The Pakistani Government has ordered an investigation.
Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority head, Junaid Amin, stated the aircraft was requested to circle due to traffic congestion (Dow Jones, 28-Jul-2010).
The Government confirmed the death of 152 passengers on the flight. There were 146 passengers and 6 cabin crew (Dow Jones, 28-Jul-2010). It announced (28-Jul-2010) condolences over the air tragedy near Islamabad from the Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani and the Minister for Finance, Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh.
Pakistan's Federal Cabinet and Prime Minister, Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, declared a day of national mourning on 29-Jul-2010. The Prime Minister with Chief Ministers of Punjab, Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa, Sindh and some federal ministers took an aerial view of the air crash site. He observed that access to the site was quite difficult thus hampering the rescue operation. [more - Government of Pakistan]
UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, extended (28-Jul-2010) his condolences in relation to the crash. [more - UN]