PIA plane crash: Families wait in sorrow as identification of victims continues

The Pakistan International Airlines plane crash, just two days ahead of Eid, has sent the country reeling.

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The incident, in a year already marred by the virus outbreak and the chaos related to it, has clouded any faint glimmer of happiness offered by the festival of Eid, with the nation sharing the grief of those who lost loved ones.

Many families had been on board the plane, hoping to reunite with loved ones for the Eid holidays.

Hailing from Waheedabad’s Gulbahar area, Waqas and his family lost their lives in the crash.

Their bereaved relatives said that Waqas, his wife Nida and son Aliyaan have already been identified, but two other children have not.

The relatives said that the deceased had been residing in Lahore for the past year.

The funeral prayers of the family was performed after Zuhar today, they added.

Another citizen, also from Karachi’s Bahadurabad area, was identified as Saleem Qadri. The deceased had gone to Lahore in relation to his work.

Qadri and his son, Osama, both died in the crash, according to their relatives.

The deceased’s relatives said that the bodies were not in a condition to be identified and would be matched by DNA.

Karachi’s Mohammad Bashir was among the victims of the plane crash, his family said. His body has not been identified as yet.

The family members said that the deceased left behind a widow and three children.

Dilshad Begum, a resident of Kharadar, also lost her life in the crash. Her body has been identified, said the son.

Dilshad Begum had gone to Lahore two months ago to meet her children.

Flight Steward Malik Irfan Dhillon’s family contacted the Edhi Foundation’s morgue for information regarding the deceased’s body.

One of his cousins said that they do not have any information about the body as yet and have given their blood samples for a DNA match.

The family members of other deceased plane crew will be brought to Karachi today.

The families of four crew members departed at 1pm from Lahore to Karachi.

It has been learnt that 48 other passengers, close relatives of the tragedy’s victims, are also coming to Karachi.

PIA has installed a counter at the Lahore airport to guide the bereaved families.

PIA Spokesperson Abdullah Khan said that the process of identification and handing over bodies to the families is underway.

Abdullah Khan said that according to the PIA laws, the families will get Rs500,000 in compensation.

Meanwhile, PM Imran Khan issued special directives as per which one million rupees per deceased person will be given for burial.

The spokesman said that the airline’s district managers will visit the homes of crash victims and pay for the burial process.

He said that 21 bodies have been identified so far.

According to Chhipa officials, six bodies have been handed over to the relatives of the deceased.

Officials said that the body of Mohammad Tahir was shifted to Model Colony, Balach’s to Gulshan-e-Hadeed while Farhan’s was taken to Ghotki.

He said that the bodies of crash victims Dilshad Begum and Riffat have been identified, adding that three bodies were handed over to the relatives.

The bodies of lieutenant Shaheer and Rehan Sheheryar were shifted to PNS Shifa today.

According to rescue officials, the body of flight’s captain Sajjad Gul has been identified and is at the Chhipa morgue.

Crash victim Mussarat Yar Khan’s sister said the body has not been identified so far and the DNA test has been done for matching.

She said that her brother was not physically and mentally well.

Another victim, Iqra Shahid from Karachi’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal, has been identified. Her brother said that she could not return to the city earlier due to the lockdown and was a student at a private university.

The Karachi-bound flight from Lahore had been seconds away from making an emergency landing at the Karachi airport when it crashed in the residential Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir, right outside the airport’s boundary wall.

Ninety-nine were aboard the plane when it crashed into a narrow residential street, dealing significant damage to houses in a densely populated area. Thankfully, there were no deaths on the ground.

Only two survived the crash — the chief executive of the Bank of Punjab and a young engineer.

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