KARACHI: Families of those who had died in the last month’s Pakistan International Airlines plane crash have rejected the investigation report which had held the pilots and the air traffic control officials responsible for the lapse.
“We completely reject the government-mandated investigation,” they said in a press conference in Karachi today, demanding a fresh and unbiased investigation into the incident.
“A single person isn’t responsible for the crash, there are more than one individuals who are responsible for the tragedy. An indiscriminate action against those at fault should be taken,” the aggrieved families said.
At least 97 people had died in the May 22 incident, making it the third most catastrophic aviation disaster in Pakistan's history. Two people had miraculously survived the crash.
“The national flag carrier is the world’s second over-staffed airline according to employee-plane ratio. Political appointments in the airline should stop.”
Blaming the airline management for failing to provide swift assistance to the victims, they said, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), PIA and the Pakistan Airline Pilots Association (PALPA) all are the same.”
They also demanded a ban on the workers’ unions in PIA and CAA.
“Currency worth millions of rupees was recovered from the site, while many cases of corruption have been unearthed in the PIA.”
The families said that they had knocked on the doors of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for investigations. “What action has been taken against the air traffic controller officials?” they asked.
“Here [in the country] a crash takes place every two years […] Who is responsible for these incidents?”
Report holds pilots, ATC responsible
On June 24, Federal Minister for Aviation, Ghulam Sarwar Khan had presented the interim investigation report on the PIA plane crash in the National Assembly, saying that the pilots were not focused and their lack of concentration caused the crash.
Presenting the initial investigation report on the floor of the House, Sarwar had said that the conversation between the pilot and the air traffic controllers had been recorded and he had heard it himself.
The minister said that the equipment from the aircraft had been extracted and decoded, adding that the recording obtained would be made part of the final report of the plane crash.
Sarwar said that the initial report pointed out that there was no technical fault with the aircraft and even the pilot had said the same in his conversation with the air traffic controllers.