Pakistan plane crash kills 47 passengers

International Airlines passenger plane arriving at the Benazir International airport in Islamabad Pakistan

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has announced an initial cash compensation of Rs. 500,000 to the families of each of the 47 people who were killed in a plane crash near Abbottabad on Wednesday.

Remains continue to be brought by helicopter to Islamabad, where DNA tests will be used to identify them.

Pakistan's electronic media watchdog issued a notice to a TV channel for airing an unauthentic audio clip of crashed PIA PK-661 flight and asked it to explain by why action should not be taken against it.

The ATR-42 aircraft involved in the crash had undergone regular maintenance, including an "A-check" certification in October, airline chairman Muhammad Azam Saigol said.

(AP Photo/B.K. Bangash). Pakistani volunteers move remains of plane crash victims to a mortuary at a hospital, in Abbottabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016.

Deputy Spokesman of the US State Department Mark Toner, in a press briefing in Washington, said, "American government and people were sad over the plane crash in Pakistan".

The plane crashed into a hillside around 80 kilometers from the capital Islamabad, where it was headed after leaving northwestern Chitral district, a popular tourist site, after the engine reportedly failed.

"When we lifted one of its wings, there was a heap of body remains under it", said social worker Jabir bin Khayan.

A Pakistani aviation spokesman says authorities have opened a probe into the plane crash in the country's northwest the previous day. Sehgal said it was unclear what caused the crash.

"The bodies were burnt so badly we could not recognise whether they were women or men", a villager in his thirties, who declined to give his name, told AFP. Earlier reports had put the number on board as 48. The pilot later made a "mayday call", shortly before the plane disappeared from radar.

Pakistan, with about 190 million people, has thriving domestic air operations connecting points across the country.

"If the crashed plane was not fit to fly, then who allowed it to operate a flight?" he questioned - stressing that this very thing needs to be investigated.

Aviation Division Secretary Irfan Elahi said that an investigation team, led by Air Commodore Munir Ahmed, has been formed to find out why the ATR-42 had crashed, Dawn reported.

About 150 people were killed in a plane crash near Islamabad in 2010, and past year, a military helicopter carrying several diplomats crashed in the country's north, killing eight people.

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