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Remains of Pakistan plane crash victims sent to Islamabad

The remains of the 47 passengers and crew who were killed when a Pakistan International Airlines flight crashed are being sent to Islamabad for identification, a hospital spokesman and the airline said.

Daniyal Gilani, a spokesman for PIA, confirmed that 42 passengers and five crew members were killed in Wednesday's crash, reducing the number from 48.

Junaid Sarwar, a hospital spokesman in the north-western city of Abbottabad, said only five bodies had been identified as the remains of others were burned so badly that the National Database and Registration Authority could not identify them.

"We are sending body parts of all the passengers to Islamabad for DNA tests," he said. The crash took place in a village 45 miles north west of the capital Islamabad. The small twin-propeller aircraft was travelling from the city of Chitral to Islamabad when it crashed shortly after take-off due to an engine fault.

PIA said the plane lost contact with the control tower before the crash.

The passengers included Junaid Jamshed, a famous singer who had become an Islamic preacher, according to PIA.

"There are no survivors. All passengers and members of crew are dead," Azam Sehgal, the PIA chariman told a news conference at Islamabad airport. He said the plane's black box recorder had been found.

Mr Sehgal said the pilot told the control tower that an engine had developed a technical fault. Moments later he made a mayday call shortly before the plane disappeared.

TV footage at the site showed debris from the plane, with villagers collecting the remains of th passengers and covering the bodies with cloths.

Pakistan's air industry had had a mixed record recently. About 150 people were killed in a crash near Islamabad in 2010, and last year a military helicopter carrying several diplomats also crashed in the country's north, killing eight people. And a Bhoja Air passenger plane crashed near Islamabad due to bad weather in 2012, killing all 127 people on board.

AP

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