127 killed in crash of Pakistani jet

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A passenger jet carrying 127 people from Karachi to Islamabad crashed near the capital Friday night, killing everyone aboard, authorities said.

The Bhoja Air jet was flying through a heavy storm when it plunged into a residential area about 3 miles short of the runway at Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad, authorities said.

Though it was early in the investigation, officials with the Civil Aviation Authority, the body that oversees commercial aviation in Pakistan, speculated that bad weather played a major role in the crash.

Pakistani officials said 119 of the people aboard were passengers, and the rest were crew members. There did not appear to be any casualties on the ground, authorities said.

Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Pervaiz George said the aircraft was a Boeing 737. Officials said the plane was 27 years old and that Bhoja Air had recently purchased it.

Bhoja Air is a small Karachi-based airline that began operating in 1993. It had suspended flights in 2001 because of financial troubles and had resumed operations last month.

The incident bore similarities to the July 28, 2010, crash of an Airblue passenger jet that killed all 152 people aboard. That aircraft was also flying from Karachi to Islamabad and was moving through heavy fog and rain.

127 killed in crash of Pakistani jet 04/20/12 [Last modified: Saturday, April 21, 2012 12:13am]

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