Judicial panel to probe Pak air crash: Gilani

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani termed the crash "a great tragedy in the history of Pakistan".

Islamabad: Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Saturday ordered the formation of a judicial commission to probe the deadly air crash near here.

The Bhoja Airlines flight with 127 people on board crashed on Friday in a stormy weather, minutes before it was to land at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport here at 7 pm. The plane had taken off from Karachi at 5 pm.

Gilani termed the crash "a great tragedy in the history of Pakistan". He was speaking to the media after visiting the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences here, where the victims` bodies are kept. It was the airline`s maiden flight on the route.

Earlier, officials confirmed that all people on board the plane were dead. Special counters have been set up at the hospital to facilitate the relatives, Geo TV reported.

The relatives who arrived here on a special plane from Karachi on Saturday have appealed to the government to complete the probe at the earliest and make the findings public.

Officials from the National Database and Registration Authority are helping identify the bodies. DNA tests are also being carried, as some of the bodies are mutilated.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said several airline officials have been barred from leaving the country until the probe is complete.

Aviation sources said the black box flight recorder of the ill-fated plane has been recovered and would help understand the cause of the crash.