Pakistan plane crash: Fuel tanks ‘exploded mid air’: Telegraph

Posted: April 21, 2012 in Asia, Pakistan
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[Telegraph] Initial investigations into the air crash that killed 127 people in Islamabad on Friday have found that the fuel tanks of the ageing Boeing 737 exploded in mid-air.

A Pakistani airline official (R) stands next to the wreckage of the plane Photo: GETTY

A Pakistani airline official (R) stands next to the wreckage of the plane Photo: GETTY

Air traffic controllers at Islamabad’s Benazir Bhutto international airport said the Bhoja Airlines plane was properly positioned when it begun its approach. Then, suddenly, it sharply descended, falling to 200 feet while still travelling at 300 miles an hour, three minutes before it was scheduled to land.

The pilot issued a mayday call, saying a fuel tank had caught fire and the plane was out of control. He asked for help to attempt an emergency landing, telling controllers he could see the roofs of homes but not the airport’s landing strip.

But the airliner descended 50 feet more before its tanks exploded, said a report by Pakistan’s civil aviation authority. Yousaf Raza Gilani, Pakistan’s prime minister, on Saturday ordered a judicial investigation into the accident.

Rehman Malik, the interior minister, promised a sweeping, parallel criminal investigation into the accident. “The causes will be investigated, whether it was any fault in the aircraft, it was lightning, the bad weather or any other factor that caused the loss of precious lives,” he said.

Given the violent storm lashing Islamabad during the accident, some experts have speculated that “wind shear,” sudden changes in wind that can lift or smash an aircraft into the ground during landing, may have been a factor…..

 Read the full story at The Telegraph….

By Tom Hussain, Islamabad
21 Apr 2012


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