MULTAN: A Pakistan International Airlines’ Fokker passenger plane crashed into a field shortly after take-off on Monday, killing all 45 passengers and crew, near Suraj Miani on the outskirts of Multan about four-five kilometres away from the airport, officials said. The ageing F27 turbo-prop, on a domestic flight to Lahore, twisted and turned before plummeting to the ground, witnesses said. Multan airport manager Syed Amir Mehboob confirmed that 41 passengers and four crew members were killed in the crash. “The plane caught fire after the crash and the bodies were charred beyond recognition,” he said, adding that the passengers included two high court judges, a university vice chancellor, two Army brigadiers and a renowned neurosurgeon. Completely burnt bodies were found strapped to seats in the fuselage of the plane. It could not be established immediately whether it was an act of sabotage or some technical fault but security officials said the Fokker was allowed to fly after thorough technical test. The plane crashed in UC-57, Raj Ghat after hiting high voltage electric wires, which burnt even the plants at the place. An airhostess jumped down from the burning plane in a bid to save her life but she could not survive. Among the victims were two high court judges, Justice Nazir Siddiqi and Justice Nawaz Bhatti, BZU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Naseer Ahmed Khan, Brig Farhat Aftab, Brig Aftab Ahmed, Captain Naveed Tariq, advocate Mian Arshad Latif, PIA Delhi Station Manager Ijaz Ahmed Chattha, Deputy Attorney-General Suhail Akhtar, PIA officer Salim Shah and his wife and renowned neurosurgeon Prof Dr Iftikhar Raja. The judges were going to Rawalpindi to attend Valima of the son of Justice Maulvi Anwarul Haq.
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