ISLAMABAD: The process of handing over bodies of local victims of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane that crashed on December 7 was complete on Saturday, said the Administrator Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) on Saturday.
Bodies of 11 more victims were handed over to their families earlier on Saturday, which later flew to Chitral via special flights from Noor Khan Airbase.
An ATR-42 aircraft operated by PIA carrying 47 people including Pakistan’s famed religious figure Junaid Jamshed issued a distress call on December 7 before losing radar contact and crashing into a mountain, killing everyone on board.
Junaid Jamshed was laid to rest at Darul Uloom graveyard in Korangi Industrial Area on Thursday in the presence of thousands of people who had gathered to give him a final tribute.
Engine trouble was initially believed to be responsible for the crash, but many questions remain unclear, stirring new worries about the safety record of the national carriage.
The aircraft appeared to have suffered a failure in one of its two turboprop engines just before the crash, to be confirmed by an investigation.
Depressing photographs and videos taken by locals showed a blasted hillside covered with flames and debris scattered over a wide area when it was on its way to Islamabad from Chitral.
Since the incident happened in a mountainous region of Chitral, officials had to face issues in conducting rescue operations and even the locals were helpless.
Officials believed that the ill-fated aircraft suffered engine problems soon after takeoff and the media focus fell on PIA’s safety record, but the state carrier denied reports that there was a fault with the aircraft before takeoff.