A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight had taken off from Islamabad for Karachi at about the same time but was diverted to Lahore because of bad weather. Eyewitnesses said they saw the ill-fated plane flying very low. Saqlain Altaf told a Pakistani news channel that he was on a family outing in the hills that skirt Islamabad when he saw the plane, looking unsteady in the air. "The plane had lost balance, and then we saw it going down," he said. The armed forces were summoned to help in rescue efforts and emergency declared in the hospitals. Civil Aviation spokesperson Pervez George said that flight was allowed go ahead after all necessary weather and technical checks. "The plane was flying from Karachi to Islamabad and it lost contact with us at around 9.45 local time (0445 GMT)."
Image: A helicopter files over the site of the plane crash near Islamabad.