A Bhoja Airlines Boeing 737-200 has crashed short of the Islamabad runway near Jinnah Gardens. The 737 completely broke up and burst into flames at about 18:50 local time.
A violent rain, wind and thunder storm was lashing the capital at the time of the crash, which occurred about 6:40 p.m. local time.
The Aircraft registration is AP-BKC and flight B4-213. The flight was from Karachi to Islamabad (Pakistan) with 121 passengers and 6 crew.
The aircraft was a Boeing 737-200 operated by Bhoja Air, a domestic carrier that has just four planes and only resumed operations last month after suspending them in 2001 due to financial difficulties.
10 houses on the ground were destroyed, their occupants are reported safe however, the crash site extends over an area of about 1000 meters. All occupants of the aircraft perished in the crash.
Emergency services initially stated the chances of finding survivors are grim and later said, no survivors have been found stating no one has survived the crash.
Police said fire erupted only after the crash, there is no chance for finding survivors.
The aircraft caught fire while still in the air, no distress call was transmitted however.
The Defense Ministry reports 126 people were aboard, the Civil Aviation Authority reports 121 passengers and 9 crew aboard the aircraft and Police reports 127 people on board of the aircraft. The airline released a list of occupants listing 121 passenger and 6 crew names.
Witnesses on the ground report the aircraft was hit by lightning.
The aircraft crashed on final approach to runway 30 about 3nm/5km short of the runway.
Bhoja Air started domestic operations in Pakistan in 1993 and eventually expanded to international flights to the United Arab Emirates in 1998. The company suspended operations in 2001 due to financial difficulties but resumed them in 2012.
The last major plane crash in the country — and Pakistan’s worst ever — occurred in July 2010 when an Airbus A321 aircraft operated by Airblue crashed in the hills overlooking Islamabad, killing all 152 people on board.