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'Pakistan has learnt little from previous air crash'

Pakistan,Crime/Disaster/Accident,Indo-Pak/Pakistan, Sun, 22 Apr 2012 IANS

Islamabad, April 22 (IANS) Pakistan has learnt little from a horrific aircrash that took place two years back, said a daily after 127 people were killed in a plane crash Friday.


An editorial in the News International Sunday criticised the chaos following the Friday crash of the Bhoja Air 737, on its maiden flight, which went down in stormy weather and burst into flames in Islamabad.


"TV crews swarmed all over the wreckage, dismembered bodies were - if briefly - in shot, likewise personal effects. Luggage was picked over and commented on and at the airport microphones were quickly under the noses of men and women in the first dreadful minutes and hours of grief," it said.


The daily said: "It was a graphic demonstration of how little was learned from the AirBlue crash two years ago."


One of the worst aviation tragedies in Pakistan took place in July 2010 when an Airbus 321 passenger jet operated by the private airline Airblue crashed into hills overlooking Islamabad while coming in to land after a flight from Karachi. All 152 people on board were killed in the accident, which occurred amid heavy rain and poor visibility.


The editorial said that Friday "there were squabbles between rescue organisations which failed to coordinate with one-another, overloaded ambulances were bogged down in the mud and it was two hours before there were high-powered lights on site".


"It was, in short, a textbook example of how not to manage a major air accident with multiple fatalities," it said dryly.


"Why Bhoja Air was granted a licence when it is still a defaulter? Did the aircraft have a Certificate of Airworthiness?," it asked and responded: "Now we wait. How long we cannot know, but if the AirBlue incident is anything to go by, then a long time perhaps."


The editorial went on to say that "every air crash with multiple fatalities is a huge tragedy in itself; but composed of the smaller individual personal tragedies of passengers and crew and their extended families".


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