Tuesday, September 28, 2021
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19 killed after Pakistani army training jet crashes into houses

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At least 19 people were killed early on Tuesday when a Pakistani army plane crashed into a residential area in Rawalpindi while on a training flight, rescue officials said.

The military said in a statement on Tuesday that the small aircraft crashed into houses on the outskirts of the city, near the capital Islamabad, before dawn.

It gave no immediate comment on the cause of the crash.

Local rescue official Abdul Rehman said that huge fire then engulfed the debris of the plane and at least five houses, burning the victims to death.

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At least 14 bodies had so far been retrieved from the rubble, another rescue official, Farooq Butt, said.

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The dead comprised all five crew members and 14 civilians.

Some of the bodies were burnt beyond recognition and DNA testing was being conducted to identify them, Butt added.

He said that nearly a dozen injured people were pulled from the debris and were being treated in hospitals.

Videos and photographs uploaded onto social media showed huge flames rising from the houses and several people wailing and crying.

“Oh God, what has happened to us. My sister and her entire family have been killed,” an elderly man said on Pakistan’s Geo television station.

The military said that the rescue operation was almost complete and that pieces of evidence were being collected from the wreckage for investigation.

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It is not uncommon for Pakistan Air Force fighter jets to crash and there have been three major aviation disasters in Pakistan in the last 15 years, killing hundreds of passengers.

The country’s poor enforcement of safety regulations are usually blamed.

In 2010 all 152 people on board a flight from the southern city of Karachi to Islamabad were killed when an Airbus 321 operated by Air Blue crashed on hills overlooking the capital.

Two years later, a Boeing 727-200 crashed near Islamabad in 2012 killing all 127 on board and in 2016 a Pakistan International Airlines ATR plane crashed while flying to Islamabad from the northern town of Chitral killing all 47 people on board.

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dpa/NAN

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READ ALSO:   Clashes as Pakistani police try to disperse Islamist sit-in

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