Pakistan plane's 'black box' found

Recovery workers find data recorder after deadly crash but say decoding will take weeks.

    The "black box" was found in wreckage of the plane's tail section  [AFP]

    Airblue flight ED202 came down in bad weather in the Maragalla Hills, on its final approach to land at Islamabad's Benazir Bhutto airport last Wednesday.

    Officials suggested the flight had been diverteddue to bad weather, but it was unclear why the jet was flying so low and close to the hills, which are well away from the normal route.

    The plane, an Airbus 321, had been on a domestic flight from the southern city of Karachi.

    Grief and sorrow

    Such was the force of the crash that the plane was said to have virtually disintegrated with few of the bodies of the victims recovered intact.

    Rescue worker Arshad Javed told the AFP news agency of horrifying scenes at the crash site.

    Rescue workers said most bodies were charred beyond recognition [AFP]

    "All we could see were charred hands or feet. I collected two heads, two legs and two hands in a bag.

    "We shouted if anyone was there alive, but heard no voice," he said.

    In a statement, Yousuf Raza Gilani, Pakistan's prime minister, "expressed grief and sorrow over the tragic incident" and offered prayers for passengers who were killed.

    Meanwhile, Qamar Zaman Kaira, the information minister, announced compensation of $5,800 for families of the victims.

    Pakistan-based Airblue started operations in 2004 and is flying to many cities in Pakistan as well as five destinations in the Middle East and the UK.

    European aircraft-maker Airbus said the single-aisle plane was a relatively young 10 years old, adding that it would offer its full assistance to Pakistani investigators.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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