Govt Fails to Identify Those Responsible for PIA Plane Crash Even After 2 Years

Two years after a tragic plane accident at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport, a final report to find out those responsible for the deadly crash has yet to be issued.

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aircraft PK-8303 crashed into a populous neighborhood in Karachi on 22 May 2020, killing 97 people and leaving just two survivors.

“No official report of the ill-fated aircraft has so far been released,” Arshad Ali Qureshi, elder brother of Zubair Qureshi, one of the survivors, told Dawn.

He said that he still remembers the moments when he learned that the airplane, which his brother was traveling in, had crashed.

“How can I forget the time when I was rushing from the site of the aircraft crash to hospitals; in fact, any place where I could find my brother,” Arshad Ali said.

Zubair Qureshi, who survived the crash, said, “Whenever I remember those moments, I thank Allah.”

Meanwhile, the Aviation Minister, Khawaja Saad Rafique, on Sunday, extended his condolences and sympathies to the aggrieved families and friends of the victims and assured them that a final report would be made available at the earliest.

The handout said that this was issued to meet the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex-13 to provide an overview of the progress of the safety investigation.

“In addition to the exchange of relevant documents, member state accredited representatives (ACCREPs) and their technical advisers have generated various contribution reports,” it said.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) team has also visited Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) and PIA stations, both in Lahore and Karachi, to gather evidence.

The Aviation Division said that the analysis of the information available, combined with contribution reports, was under progress at the AAIB to prepare conclusions and safety recommendations.

“The draft final report is presently under process and likely to be completed soon,” it said.

It noted that the then government had constituted a team to investigate the crash, which released its preliminary report publicly after a month after the accident.

The presser added that despite COVID-19 and related challenges, the AAIB team collected all required evidence and was presently working on a draft final report.

“In accordance with the ICAO requirements, a second interim statement has been issued by AAIB Pakistan and was available publicly on the Aviation Division website,” it concluded.