Eighteen people were killed when a small military plane crashed into a residential area in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi early Tuesday, officials told AFP.
The plane crashed into a poor village near an upscale neighbourhood in the garrison city that is home to the army’s headquarters, creating a fireball that lit up the night sky and terrified residents.
“We have taken 18 dead bodies to hospital… that included 13 civilians and five crew members,” said local rescue spokesman Farooq Butt, adding that a further 12 people had been injured in the accident near the capital Islamabad.
“All the bodies are badly burned, so DNA tests are required for identification,” he added.
One resident told AFP that the crash happened around 2 am.
“I woke to the sound of a huge explosion. I stepped out of my house and saw huge flames and we rushed to the site,” said Mohammad Sadiq.
“People were screaming. We tried to help them but the flames were too high and the fire too intense,” he said, adding he believed seven members of one family were among the dead.
Another resident Ghulam Khan said he heard the plane as it buzzed over his house, adding the aircraft appeared to be on fire before it crashed.
“The sound was so scary,” he added.
The military’s information wing said the plane was on a routine training mission when the accident occurred, adding that rescue officials had extinguished the fire caused by the crash and moved the injured to a local hospital.
An AFP reporter at the scene said smoke was still rising from the wreckage and destroyed homes, while pieces of the plane were visible on a nearby roof.
Hours after the crash rescue workers could be seen combing through the smouldering site, gathering debris and inspecting the scene while ambulances swarmed the area.
Military officials had also cordoned off the crash site while a crowd of residents stood nearby, some of them sobbing.
Prime Minister Imran Khan offered his condolences to the affected families and wished a “quick recovery for the injured”, according to a tweet by the Pakistani government.
Pakistan has a chequered aviation safety record, with frequent plane and helicopter crashes over the years.
In 2016, a Pakistan International Airlines plane burst into flames after one of its two turboprop engines failed while travelling from remote northern Pakistan to Islamabad, killing more than 40 people.
The deadliest air disaster on Pakistani soil was in 2010, when an Airbus 321 operated by private airline Airblue and flying from Karachi crashed into the hills outside Islamabad while coming in to land, killing all 152 on board.
Four Canadians and an American pilot died Saturday when their small plane plunged into the sea off the Honduran island of Roatan where they were vacationing, firefighters said.
The plane crashed near the town of Dixon Cove, a few minutes after taking off from the island’s airport, rescuers said.
The dead were identified as Bradley Post, Bailey Sony, Tomy Dubler, and pilot Patrick Forseth. The other Canadian pilot, Anthony Dubler, briefly survived the crash but died at the Roatan hospital of his injuries.
The causes of the crash and the registration information for the aircraft were not immediately available.
It occurred as the tourists were headed toward the city of Trujillo, about 77 kilometers (48 miles) from Roatan.
Embattled aviation giant Boeing pledged on Wednesday to do all it can to prevent crashes like the two that killed nearly 350 people in recent months, as it unveiled a fix to the flight software of its grounded 737 MAX aircraft.
Boeing gathered hundreds of pilots and reporters to unveil the changes to the MCAS stall prevention system, which has been implicated in the tragedies in Ethiopia and Indonesia, as part of a charm offensive to restore the company’s reputation.
“We are going to do everything to make sure that accidents like this don’t happen again,” Mike Sinnett, Boeing’s vice president of product strategy, told reporters at a factory in Washington.
Meanwhile, the head of the US air safety agency faced harsh questions from senators over its relationship with and oversight of Boeing.
Dan Elwell, the acting head of the Federal Aviation Administration, defended his agency but acknowledged that as systems become more complex, the FAA’s “oversight approach needs to evolve.”
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and other top officials were also on the hot seat on Capitol Hill.
Boeing chief Dennis Muilenburg was not called to the Senate hearing, but is expected to testify at a later date.
Ahead of the tough questioning, the company launched a campaign to convince the flying public that it is addressing the issues with the 737 MAX, including a fix to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) implicated in the deadly crashes.
At the company’s massive factory in Renton, Washington, Boeing unveiled the software changes and offered reassurances.
Sinnett said it will take only about an hour to install the updates and they can begin as soon as regulators authorize the changes, which were developed “after months of testing and hundreds of hours.”
The MCAS, which makes the aircraft dive in order to regain speed if it detects a stall or loss of airspeed, was developed specifically for the 737 MAX, which has a heavier engine than its predecessor, the 737 NG.
Among the changes, the MCAS will no longer repeatedly make corrections when the pilot tries to regain control, and will be automatically disconnected in the event of disagreements between the two “angle of attack” (AOA) sensors, the company said.
This is a major change because until the Ethiopian Airlines tragedy earlier this month, the MCAS was set to react to information from a single sensor and would repeatedly override pilot corrections.
The initial investigation into the Lion Air crash in Indonesia in October found that one of the AOA sensors failed but continued to transmit erroneous information to the MCAS.
Boeing also will install a warning feature — at no cost — called a “disagree light” to indicate to the pilot when the left and right AOA sensors are out of sync.
The company also is revising pilot training, including for those already certified on the 737, to provide “enhanced understanding of the 737 MAX” flight system and crew procedures.
US pilots complained after the Lion Air crash that they had not been fully briefed on the system.
In Washington, US aviation regulators faced questions about how certification for the MAX was handled.
Lawmakers also want to know why officials did not immediately ground the aircraft after an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 crashed shortly after takeoff near Addis Ababa on March 10, killing all 157 people onboard.
The delay has given rise to suspicions of a too-cozy relationship between regulators and the American planemaker, especially since Chinese and European authorities moved quickly to ban the planes as soon as similarities with the Lion Air crash were raised.
The FAA — which delegates some certification procedures to Boeing, including for parts of the MAX — was “directly involved” in the safety review of the MCAS, Elwell said.
“The certification process was detailed and thorough,” but “time yields more data,” he added.
A Boeing official meanwhile said there was no need to revamp a regulatory process that has “continued to lead to safer and safer airplanes.”
At a separate hearing, Chao said she was “concerned about any allegations of coziness with any company,” but noted that allowing Boeing to handle some of its own safety certifications was necessary because the FAA “can’t do it on their own.”
She said she has ordered the Transportation Department’s inspector general, Calvin Scovel, to investigate the MAX certification, and Scovel, in turn, noted various concerns with FAA inspectors and procedures.
In his prepared testimony, he called on the agency to tighten oversight of companies that self-certify.
But a Boeing official countered that wholesale changes were not needed, saying: “In general, the process has worked and continues to work, and we see no reason to overhaul the process.”
French investigators have received the black boxes from the Boeing 737 MAX that crashed east of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, killing all 157 people on board, France’s BEA airline safety agency said Thursday.
Ethiopian authorities had requested French help to analyse the content of the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder to discover what caused the Ethiopian Airlines flight to plunge to the ground just minutes after takeoff on Sunday.
As investigators probe the latest deadly crash of Boeing’s bestselling airliner, US President Donald Trump weighed in Tuesday with his own explanation: modern planes are too complicated for pilots.
“Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly,” he tweeted, adding that instead of pilots, the planes require “computer scientists from MIT.”
“I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Albert Einstein to be my pilot. I want great flying professionals that are allowed to easily and quickly take control of a plane!” Trump added in a second tweet.
Nigerian scholar, author and popular columnist/activist, Pius Adesanmi, was among those killed when an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed on Sunday.
All 149 passengers and eight crew members aboard the plane which crashed minutes after departing the Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for Nairobi in Kenya perished in the tragic incident.
Adesanmi was one of two Nigerians on the tragic flight which went down with nationals from at least 35 other countries. The other Nigerian on the flight was Abiodun Bashua, a retired ambassador on contract with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
In a statement on Sunday evening, Carleton University said the tragic news left its community “shocked and devastated”.
Benoit-Antoine Bacon, who is President and Vice-Chancellor of the University said, “Pius was a towering figure in African and post-colonial scholarship and his sudden loss is a tragedy.”
He added, “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all those who knew and loved him, and with everyone who suffered loss in the tragic crash in Ethiopia.”
Also quoted in the statement was the dean of Faculty of Arts and Social Science, Pauline Rankin, who described Adesanmi’s contributions to the university as “immeasurable”.
“He worked tirelessly to build the Institute of African Studies, to share his boundless passion for African literature and to connect with and support students,” she said.
“He was a scholar and teacher of the highest caliber, who leaves a deep imprint on Carleton.”
Tributes have poured in for Adesanmi who is popular for his courageous, constructive and widely regarded columns as well as his passion for the development of Nigeria.
His last post on Facebook went up in the morning of Saturday, March 9, 2019. It was a verse from the Bible:
“If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me – Psalm 139:9-10”.
The pilot of a Nairobi-bound Boeing 737 that crashed six minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa on Sunday, had alerted controllers “he had difficulties” and wanted to turn back the plane carrying 157 people, the head of Ethiopian Airlines said.
The pilot “was given clearance” to return to Addis, Chief Executive Officer Tewolde GebreMariam told journalists in the Ethiopian capital when asked whether there had been a distress call.
The Ethiopian Airlines management has confirmed that a retired Nigerian Ambassador, Abiodun Bashua, was among other nationalities aboard the ill-fated Ethiopian air which crashed shortly after taking off from the airport in Addis Ababa on Sunday, March 9, 2019.
He was a retired Ambassador and on contract with United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
Kenya’s Transport Secretary, James Macharia, said passengers from at least 35 nations were aboard the Ethiopian airlines’ flight 302.
The Ethiopian airlines Boeing 737 passenger jet was en route to Nairobi, Kenya when it crashed, killing all passengers and eight crew on board. The plane is the latest version of the Max 8 B737, described as the world’s bestselling modern passenger aircraft and one of the industry’s most reliable.
Meanwhile, U.S. aerospace giant, Boeing, said on Sunday it was “deeply saddened” about the deaths of all 157 people aboard Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and would provide technical assistance to find out why its aircraft crashed.
The brand new Boeing 737 — which was delivered just last year — was heading from Addis Ababa to Nairobi when it crashed.
“Boeing is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the passengers and crew on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a 737 MAX 8 airplane,” the company said in a statement.
“We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board and stand ready to support the Ethiopian Airlines team,” it said.
The single-aisle Boeing 737 MAX is one of the world’s newest and most advanced commercial passenger jets. But the company has come under fire for possible glitches with the plane, which entered service in 2017.