The preliminary investigation report on the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane crash last week will be presented before parliament on June 22, the country's aviation minister said after Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed anger over the delay in the probe.
The domestic flight from Lahore to Karachi crashed in a residential area near the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi last Friday, killing 97 people on board. Two passengers miraculously survived the crash.
The Airbus A320 aircraft of the national carrier had 91 passengers and a crew of eight when it crashed into the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir on Friday, minutes before its landing. Eleven people on the ground were also injured.
Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan told the media in Islamabad that Prime Minister Khan during a meeting expressed anger over the delay in such probes and ordered to expedite it and share the findings with the people.
“We have decided that the preliminary report will be presented before parliament on June 22,” the minister said.
He also stressed that the probe will be “free and fair” and nothing will be kept secret and anyone found guilty will be held accountable.
His comments came as a team of foreign experts on Thursday recovered the missing cockpit voice recorder from the debris of the crashed plane.
The minister said that 12 air crashes occurred in Pakistan since independence, involving PIA planes in 10 of them while two planes belonged to private AirBlue and Bhoja Airline respectively.
He said that their inquiry reports were not made public and it was decided by the government to release all those reports by presenting them in the parliament.
The minister said that the flight data recorder of the crashed plane and the cockpit voice recorder have been recovered and handed over to French authorities to decode them.
He said a French team on behalf of Airbus was also in Pakistan since May 26 for collecting evidence for its own independent probe.
The minister said that 51 bodies have been recognised and handed over to relatives while the process of identifying others through DNA was going on.
He said it was a “million-dollar question” why the pilot touched down and hit the runway thrice before lifting up the plane.
It was reported earlier that the plane had some problem with landing gear but the minister refused to speculate about the technical issues until the probe is completed.