A team specialising in DNA testing has been called in from Lahore to begin DNA sampling for the identification of the victims of the PIA plane crash, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail said.
“All the victims’ bodies have been recovered from the crash site and our foremost priority is identifying them and handing them over to their families now,” he said, addressing the media after a visit to Model Colony in Karachi on Saturday.
A plane travelling to Karachi from Lahore crashed in the colony on Friday (May 22). Out of the 99 people on board, only two survived. A total of 97 passengers and crew members passed away in the accident. A total of 25 houses in Model Colony were also damaged.
According to the Sindh government, six bodies have been handed over to the victims’ families and 70 families are in contact with the health department. Nineteen people, including the pilot, have been identified.
Governor Ismail expressed his grief and despair over the accident and offered condolences to the bereaved families. “We want the victims’ families to know that they are in our prayers.”
He assured that residents of the colony whose houses were damaged in the accident have been shifted to the Airport Hotel. “A Qasr-e-Naz has also been prepared in case there we run out of space at the hotel,” the governor said.
Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar, who had accompanied the governor, said that the expenses of the rehabilitation and repair of the houses destroyed will be incurred by the government.
The people who survived the crash will be paid compensation of Rs500,000. “We are no one to compensate for the losses of those who lost their lives,” Sarwar said, adding that, the government, however, will give their families Rs1 million.
“The insurance amount of Rs5 million will also be distributed to the people affected,” he added.
Sarwar implored the media to stop spreading “fake” and “false” information regarding the incident. “We have formed a four-member committee of qualified Pakistan Air Force pilots who will present an inquiry report of the accident.”
A counter-inquiry will also be conducted by the Airbus company. “If any one from the Civil Aviation or PIA is found to be at fault, not only will they resign but also be held accountable,” the minister promised.
Additionally, Governor Ismail lauded the efforts of the rescue teams, army officials, health teams, Edhi and Chippa for their relentless work in the rescue operations.
“All those people who survived the crash – both passengers and residents – is nothing less than a miracle,” he added.