When the tragedy hit the Nation.

THE fatal crash of the Airblue passenger jet killing all 152 on board in Margalla Hills of Islamabad on Wednesday 28th July 2010, is a grievous loss to the entire nation. The exact cause of the accident is yet to be known, as the blackbox is still missing but aviation officials believe that cloudy weather was the likely cause. Also the eyewitnesses have confirmed that there were thick clouds on the site before the tragedy occurred and that the plane had lost balance while flying through them.

This definitely calls into question our civil aviation’s ability to ensure safety of air traffic control, especially in bad weather. Also the question needs to be asked why the weather forecast broadcast earlier across the country was not taken seriously. There was simply no point in flying the aircraft to Islamabad when the atmosphere there was so menacing. At the same time, rescue operations were in a shambles. Though, it is officially stated that various agencies including the Rescue Services, along with the Army, Navy and Air Force were sent to the crash site, the delayed response speaks a lot about the laidback attitude of government agencies in Pakistan. True, the accident occurred in the middle of hills, which made the site difficult to access, but a committed and efficient response for instance with the help of helicopters should have overcome this impediment. As it was, it was students and private volunteers who literally carried bodies down on foot according to eye witnesses and some of the volunteers.

Airblue issued a Passenger list. Airblue confirmed that 164 passengers were onboard including 139 adults, 5 kids and 5 crewmembers, whereas 12 are those lucky people who missed the flight. The nation is heart broken at this tragedy.

Finally, the deadly crash also underscores the need for better maintenance and aviation safety mechanism on the part of the airline. One of the airline’s aircraft had a small accident back in 2008 in Quetta.

152 lives, 152 stories ended in such unexpected way! A close friend's class fellow passed away in the crash, his name was Naveed Ilyas. He had a baby on 16th July. Pilots last words were, "We can see that!" Plane lost contact with the control tower before the crash. The Control Tower asked the pilot to change course but without compliance. All the bodies were recovered for the crash site, including the Pilot's. I was reporting and following this news since morning but as the news progressed, I was speechless. Airbus A321 is involved in the crash. The effected area of Margalla Hills was completely unreachable except for helicopters.

Moreover, the passengers must also be on their guard and especially all the more so given the general lethargy plaguing virtually every government department. The tragic loss of life in Islamabad might not have occurred had the aviation authorities been more alert. The probe would do well to find out why the airplane was allowed to get airborne in such dangerous weather conditions. Meanwhile the nation mourns its dead.

My heart goes out to the friends and families of the tragic Airblue Flight 202 crash victims. It is reported to be the worse commercial jet crash in the history of Pak Aviation. May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'alla Bless us with Patience and Perseverance to fight with this calamity.

The Nation is at grief! A sad morning here!

- Shazia Sabeen.

1 comment:

Arsh said...

There is no words to recover the loss of human life. I am very disappoint by the Govt. attitude and show off NGO's to get meddle on there shoulders. Allah bless us and there love ones who loss there lifes - Ameen.