Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Updates on the Plane Crash in Islamabad


Image courtesy: The Express Tribune

There are quite a few updates to the plane crash (Air Blue ED202) in Islamabad today morning at 9.44am PST.

1. The claim of survivors (5, then 7 and then 9 - God, I was so happy and imagine how hopeful the relatives of the passengers must have been!) was all wrong. There were no injured ''being shifted to hospital''. The DIG Islamabad Bin Yameen said that when he reached the area (around 40 minutes later on foot!), there were no signs of any injured. Whatever he could recover was body parts. No intact bodies. So where did the injured story come from, I have no idea.

2. The rescue effort is now mostly over. More than a 100 bodies (remains) were taken out of the wreckage and sent to hospitals. The relatives of the passengers were flown to Islamabad via Air Blue's special service at 8pm flight and reached there by 9.30. Latest reports say that 25 bodies have been identified.

3. Rehman Malik says that terrorism cannot be ruled out. Speculations are circulating around why the plane didn't land normally on runway 30 and took the ''bad weather circuit route'' to land on runway 12. And if that circuit route was taken, why did that plane head over to the hills? The most reasonable explanation is this:

Meekal Ahmed, Columnist for The Express Tribune writes:
May I try and put some perspective on this for those above who don’t seem to know much about aviation but are writing anyway:

If you are using runway 12 as it seems (the Murree road side) there is no ILS. The ILS is on runway 30 (the opposite side). So the procedure (which I never thought was safe) is you fly the ILS to 30 and then you break off and turn right and fly parallel to the Margalla hills and then turn back in and land on 12. It’s not a circle but more of a race-track pattern. You may ask why not have the aircraft turn left rather than right towards the Margalla Hills. The reason is that on the left of runway 30 is Dhamial Air Base, GHQ and so on and as far as I remember that is all so-called “Restricted” airspace. You cannot fly over it. This is CFIT (Controlled Flight Into Terrain) not as stated above. Final point, when you are flying parallel to the Margalla Hills, you are required to keep the airport on your left in sight. So I can visualize the captain in the left seat looking left. Maybe the F/O was flying and craning his neck too. They just seem to have drifted into the Margalla Hills — perhaps because of high winds. They lost what is called “Situational Awareness”. Basically they did not know where they were.
May those who perished rest in eternal peace.

Source: The Express Tribune

Personal Updates:

1. The pilot, Pervez Iqbal Choudhry was our cousin's wife's dad !! **wails**. This we just found out a while ago! We knew her dad was a pilot, we just didn't know the name. Poor poor her! Aik to she's not even here, so she can be with her mom and bros. Secondly, the mom and one son went to identify the remains :'(, and this must be so extremely tough for them. What we do know about them is that he was a very very honest man and there can be no doubt that this was either a weather problem or a very genuine human error. There are no chances he was intentionally negligent (like, people are asking why did he take the decision to land there anyway?). I really hope the family finds solace in the fact that this brave pilot was conscientious enough not to crash the plane in residential areas, and tried his best till the last moment.

2. One of the girls (member of Youth Parliament too) was our school's head girl 2-3 years ago! The school where we studied till O Level. Somehow, she now seems more familiar, even though I never knew her. The fact that she is also from the same school connects us... and hence, I'm double/triple sad for her and family.

3. One other girl we know gaaibana (also from our school) lost her husband :'(. He was in that plane too. The girl's expecting a kid, and what a harsh harsh time she must be going through right now.

4. Another incident: There was a newly married couple (who got married only 3 days back!), on this plane, probably on their honeymoon. They were the family of my brother in law's colleague in his office. :'(.

These are just four cases. More connections will emerge ... as the days go by. The loss is too great. And the stories too poignant. We can only pray to Allah (SWT) to somehow Grant sabr to these families, and make them find comfort in the fact that the time of departure from this world ... is always always fixed for everybody. The method of departure, varies. So if it weren't for this plane crash - then it might have been something else. But since it's fixed and part of the package specs we all come with (DOB, DOD -> date of departure, TOD --> time of departure etc), nobody can really change that.

I pray for the Hifazat (safety) of everybody, Ameen.


majworld said...

thanks for the updates uni..nd really sad to know the stories..:(nd it was too sad watching few of them on tv..may allah give patience to the families.ameen..nd ya v rightly put in to words, that we all come with a DOB and TOB..nd nobody can change it..may allah save all of us from sudden death.ameen

Uni said...

Yeah, it's really really sad. And Ameen to your duaa.

Thanks for dropping by!

Amir Jalal said...

Dear uni, the girl who lost her husband and was expecting a baby, was her name najam us sahar ?