All 48 people on board a Pakistani passenger plane, which crashed in the country’s mountainous north, have died, the airline’s chairman has confirmed. Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) PK 661 went down on a domestic flight from the city of Chitral to the capital Islamabad on Wednesday. “There are no survivors, no one has survived,” Muhammad Azam Saigol told a press conference, about five hours after the plane crashed near the town of Havelian, in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
The military said 40 bodies were recovered and rescue efforts involved about 500 soldiers, doctors and paramedics. The flight departed from Chitral around 15:30 local time (10:30 GMT) and was expected to land in Islamabad around 16:40. Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, said the badly burnt bodies were taken to the Abbottabad Medical Complex. “Five bodies have been identified, but the rest are unidentifiable,” our correspondent said. Junaid Jamshed, Pakistan’s singer-turned-preacher, and his wife were also on board the plane that came down near the town of Havelian in Abbottabad district.