Pakistani military helicopters on Thursday ferried remains of plane crash victims to the capital, Islamabad, as aviation authorities said they opened a probe into the crash that killed 47 passengers and crew the day before in the country's northwest.
The small twin-propeller aircraft was travelling from the scenic mountain resort city of Chitral to Islamabad on Wednesday when one of its engines failed shortly after takeoff and crashed in the hillside village of Gug in the district of Abbottabad, according to Pervez George of the Civil Aviation Authority. No one survived.
The plane belonged to the Pakistani national carrier, the Pakistan International Airlines, and had 42 passengers and five crew members on board, PIA spokesman Daniyal Gilani said.
Witnesses said they saw the plane flying very low for several minutes before tilting and going down, then bursting into flames upon crashing in Gug. The village is located next to another, Saddha Batolni, from where residents also joined the rescue work.
"The plane was swaying ... then I saw it hitting the hill with a loud bang," said Chaudhry Rustam, a villager who rushed to the crash site.