Pakistan’s Bhoja Air’s 27-year-old Boeing 737 aircraft crashed near Islamabad’s Benazir Bhutto International Airport on Friday, with 118 passengers and nine crew members on board, confirmed the Civil Aviation Authority.
The Bhoja Air flight 213, which took off its maiden flight from Karachi at 5 pm on Friday after a gap of 11 years, crashed at 6:40 pm near Chaklala airbase in Rawalpindi on its wasy to land at the Bhutto airport in Islamabad, Pakistan’s television channels reported. Officials said rescue teams have been rushed to the spot. Initial reports say no survivors in the crash.
Incidentally, the aircraft was retired by Shaheen Airlines but was on active use by the budget airlines Bhoja Air. Defence officials said it crashed in residential area and are assessing any damage to buildings and residents.
In fact, Bhoja Air was known for its debt-ridden past and had ceased its operations in 2000 but re-launched in 2011 and began operating flights only in March 2012. With its headquarters at Shahrah-e-Liaquat in Karachi, Bhoja Air started operations in 1993 with the aircraft that went down on Friday. For details, contact Bhoja Air’s office at +(92-21) 34529715.
In July 2012, an Airblue domestic flight from Karachi crashed in similar conditions near hills while trying to land at Islamabad airport, killing all 152 people on board.