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Passenger plane with 152 on board crashes near Islamabad, at least 8 survive (Update)

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July 28, 2010

(KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI)  At least eight people on board a passenger plane that crashed near the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on Wednesday have survived, national media said.

The Airblue company plane, which was flying from Turkey to Islamabad via the Pakistani city of Karachi, was carrying 146 passengers and 6 crew members. Other reports say that at least 153 passengers were on board.

Four of the survivors have been evacuated by helicopter; the other four are waiting to be transferred to a hospital.

Pakistani TV said that up to 40 people on board of the plane could have survived.

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The plane crashed in the Margalla Hills, about 30 km from Islamabad airport.

National media reported that the plane burst into flame during landing and thick black smoke engulfed the area.

“The plane was landing in Islamabad when something went wrong,” an aviation spokesman said, adding that it is still unknown what caused the problem.

Rescue helicopters are working at the site, however, heavy rains and thick fog may impede the operations.

Airblue was established in 2004 and operates Airbus A320 and Airbus A321 planes. Apart from destinations in Pakistan, the company flies to Manchester (Britain), Muscat (Oman) and a number of cities in the United Arab Emirates. (*)

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