KARACHI: Sindh Governor Imran Ismail on Saturday visited the PIA plane crash site in Model Colony and inspected the damage caused by the airline authority’s incompetence.
Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan, PIA CEO Arshad Malik, MNA Aftab Siddiqui, MPAs Firdous Shamim Naqvi, Haleem Adil, Khurrum Sher Zaman, Jamal Siddiqui and Sidra Imran were also present on the occasion.
After taking a round of the wreckage, the governor met with locals and volunteers engaged in rescue and relief work.
While talking to the media, he appreciated the quick response of Edhi, armed forces, Rangers and Chhipa as well as the services of scouts and volunteers of the Pakistan Hilal-e-Ahmer.
He said that on the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Qasr-e-Naz and Airport hotel of PIA had been reserved for legal heirs of crash victim and families who lost their houses in the incident for their accommodation.
“We want the victims’ families to know that they are in our prayers,” he said.
He assured that residents of the colony whose houses were damaged in the accident have been shifted to the Airport Hotel. “A Qasr-e-Naz has also been prepared in case there we run out of space at the hotel,” the governor said.
Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar, who had accompanied the governor, said that the expenses of the rehabilitation and repair of the houses destroyed will be incurred by the government.
The people who survived the crash will be paid compensation of Rs500,000. “We are no one to compensate for the losses of those who lost their lives,” Sarwar said, adding that, the government, however, will give their families Rs1 million.
“The insurance amount of Rs5 million will also be distributed to the people affected,” he added.
In reply to a question, the Sindh governor said that an inquiry committee constituted by the federal government had started working. “Its report would answer questions about the causes of the incident,” he added.
He appealed to media not to run news based on rumours and speculations and only give authentic and factual reports as the heirs of victims are already aggrieved and any baseless news only create unrest amongst them.
He said that it was a miracle that no life was lost on the ground despite the crashing of the plane in a heavily populated area.
Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that the federal government would construct the damaged houses while compensation for damaged vehicles would also be announced after their assessment.
Later, the Sindh governor visited the Emergency Response Centre (ERC) and PIA head office call centre where he was informed that the centre was made functional within half an hour of the crash.
He was further informed that so far, 18 dead bodies had been handed over to legal heirs while the remaining would be given to relatives after DNA verification.
A team specialising in DNA testing has been called in from Lahore to begin DNA sampling for the identification of the victims of the PIA plane crash in this regard.
“All the victims’ bodies have been recovered from the crash site and our foremost priority is identifying them and handing them over to their families now,” he said.