The smell of burning filled the air at the scene of Friday's deadly plane crash on the outskirts of Islamabad, where chunks of charred wreckage lay scattered across farmland.
The Bhoja Air Boeing 737 from Karachi came down at dusk as it tried to land at the city's airport in a thunderstorm and officials say there is no hope of any of those on board, believed to number up to 130, surviving.
Rescue workers in orange jumpsuits and local residents used torches to search through the wreckage after nightfall, assisted by soldiers carrying assault rifles. Part of the airline’s name could be read on a large section of ripped white fuselage from the passenger cabin.
Witnesses described seeing human limbs strewn over a wide area spattered with blood and an AFP reporter saw plane oxygen masks and luggage littering the wheat
fields around the village of Hussain Abad.
A long row of coloured sheets at the edge of the fields covered the remains of victims recovered from the crash site so far.
Part of the plane’s wing fell on a house in the village. The owner Intezar Hussain said it damaged a balcony but caused no casualties.
“The plane came down with huge noise,” his son Jaffer Hussain said. “Its pilot perhaps tried to land into the farmland. It hit trees and exploded. It crashed in heavy rains,” he said.
There were emotional scenes at Islamabad airport as distraught relatives wept bitterly for the victims of the crash.
“I had come to receive my newly-wed son and daughter-in-law. My son Sajjad Ali married only 20 days ago. He was coming with his wife Sania Abbas on Friday, I had
come to receive the couple,” said one heartbroken old man.
In Karachi, hundreds of people gathered outside the airport to enquire about relatives who had departed on the flight to Islamabad.