A Pakistan International Airlines plane with 47 people on board has crashed near a hilly area near the garrison town of Abbottabad while it was on its way to the capital, media reports said.
The ATR plane PK-661 with 47 people, according to PTI, crashed near Havelian while en route to Islamabad from Chitral in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
The national carrier’s flight departed from Chitral at 3:30 PM (local time) and disappeared from the air control radar soon after take off, the Express Tribune reported.
According to military’s media wing, army troops and helicopters have been dispatched to the crash site for rescue efforts.
A PIA spokesperson told media that flight PK-661 had disappeared from the air control radar, reported Pakistan Today website.
Among those travelling in the plane was also a popular singer-turned-preacher, Junaid Jamshed. Jamshed had shot to fame with his popular number Saanvli Sanoli song.
Close friends of Junaid Jamshed saying he along with his wife was also traveling on PIA plane crashed coming from Chitral to Islamabad
— Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) December 7, 2016
According to reports, Jamshed’s seat number was 27C. Tributes have begun pouring in on social media by his friends and journalists on Jamshed’s death. Jamshed had given up pop singing and turned to entrepreneurship by launching a high-end garment brand. He was also active in preaching Islam.
— Faizan Lakhani (@faizanlakhani) December 7, 2016
RIP. My Condolences to the bereaved families of the PIA Flight crash. We lost an artist in Junaid Jamshed. May God Bless all! Ameen pic.twitter.com/1KkZgujiyk
— Rishi Kapoor (@chintskap) December 7, 2016
UPDATE: Leading Pakistani preacher and television personality Junaid Jamshed and his family have died in plane crash
— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) December 7, 2016
Cannot put into words the immense grief I feel on the demise of Junaid Jamshed. His music will live on in our hearts & minds forever.
— Ahmed (@azkhawaja1) December 7, 2016
Junaid Jamshed has left us in the most devastating way. Shocked and heartbroken. #PIAcrash
— Quratulain Balouch (@Quratulainb) December 7, 2016
Request to TV channels- Pl don't show Junaid Jamshed's music life that he had left many years ago. Remember him as a preacher of Islam.
— Ansar Abbasi (@AnsarAAbbasi) December 7, 2016
Sorry Junaid Jamshed bhai. This nation did not deserve you. Gems are you are meant to be in heaven
— Dr Farhan K Virk (@FarhanKVirk) December 7, 2016
Pakistan has lost an icon today. May Allah bless Junaid Jamshed's soul.
— Usman Dar (@UdarOfficial) December 7, 2016
Those who grew up in Pakistan during the 90s lost an integral figure of their cultural experience today. Rest in peace, Junaid Jamshed.
— Umair Javed (@umairjav) December 7, 2016
I wonder if those who attacked Junaid Jamshed with slippers at Islamabad airport feel sorry for their badtameezi now.
— beena sarwar (@beenasarwar) December 7, 2016
I met Junaid Jamshed in June this year with @wasimakramlive . He was extremely courteous and hospitable. And he sang that evening!
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) December 7, 2016
Thoughts & prayers go out for Junaid Jamshed's family & loved ones. His voice and good deeds will resonate with us for ever! RIP my friend.
— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) December 7, 2016
Jamshed, who had close to half a million followers on Twitter had last tweeted on 4 December from Chitral.
His tweet read, “Heaven on Earth Chitral.
With my friends in the Path of Allah . Snowpacked Tirchmir right behind us”
Heaven on Earth Chitral.
With my friends in the Path of Allah . Snowpacked Tirchmir right behind us pic.twitter.com/ZajcWEKlrG
— Junaid Jamshed (@JunaidJamshedPK) December 4, 2016
“PIA’s ATR-42 aircraft operating as PK-661, carrying around 40 persons lost its contact with the control tower on its way from Chitral to Islamabad a short while ago,” PIA Spokesman Daniyal Gilani tweeted. “All resources are being mobilised to locate the aircraft.”
A PIA aircraft has lost contact with control tower. Plz see statement below. pic.twitter.com/AVcNXFL6E2
— Danyal Gilani (@DanyalGilani) December 7, 2016