KARACHI: When the Airbus expert team investigating the May 22 plane crash returned to France along with the plane’s black box after spending a week in Karachi, the death toll in the tragedy increased to 98 on Monday when a teenage girl lost battle with her burns. while working in a house near the airport.
Naheeda Khaskheli, 13, has been the first victim on land.
Except for the two survivors, 97 passengers and crew of the ill-fated Pakistan International Airlines were killed when the plane crashed into houses in the Jinnah Model Colony area.
Naheeda works as a housemaid with her two sisters – 20-year-old Aziza and 18-year-old Mahira – in Model Colony. They were busy carrying out routine tasks cleaning the house when the plane crashed, leaving the girls seriously injured.
Aziza and Mahira had more than 70 percent burns and 59 percent Naheeda. The three girls were treated in the burn ward of Dr. Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital in Karachi, Karachi.
The Airbus team reached Paris after staying for a week in Karachi
The body was moved to his home in Jam Kando Village, Malir. According to his uncle, Mohammad Essa, several government officials visited his nephew in the hospital and promised help, but so far the promise has not been fulfilled.
A special flight (AIB-1889) carrying 11 French investigators belonging to Airbus, the French air safety agency, engine manufacturer Safran Aircraft Engine and CFM International left Karachi airport on Monday morning and landed at Paris-Le Bourget Airport at night.
They brought a flight data recorder (FDR) and cockpit voice recorder (CVR) from the A320 aircraft that crashed into France, where the Bureau of Investigation and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) will begin decoding them on Tuesday (today).
French officials will open and download information from FDR and CVR if the recording chip is still intact in their accident-resistant shell.
According to Reuters, preliminary reports suggested the plane swiped its engine along the runway during the first attempt to land after what appeared to be an unstable approach, arriving steep and fast.
It said investigators would analyze cockpit data to try to understand whether damage to the engine from the first landing attempt caused them to be interrupted before the second attempt, making the plane unable to reach the airport perimeter.
Officials said an AAIB member had accompanied the Airbus team to France and the findings of French investigators would be shared with AAIB first.
The Airbus team arrived in Karachi on May 26 and spent a week giving the so-called ‘technical assistance’ company to Pakistani investigators who were members of the Air and Aircraft Accident Investigation Agency (AAIB).
Meanwhile, 10 bodies of victims of plane crashes remain unknown.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said in a statement on Monday that the bodies of 87 victims had been identified and handed over to their relatives.
He said four bodies were lying in the Chhipa mortuary and six were with the Edhi Foundation.
He said as many as 48 bodies were identified through DNA testing.
The Sindh Forensic DNA and Serology Laboratory (SFDL) at the International Center for Chemistry and Biology (ICCBS), Karachi University, reported on Monday that it had completed DNA-based identification of victims of air accidents.
“Some cases where relatives have not contacted us are waiting and will be described after the availability of reference samples,” a statement said.
The center’s director, Dr Iqbal Chaudhry, said: “A total of 69 samples have been received from the victims’ families and 70 samples have been received from the police so far. Advanced machinery and expertise were used to complete this great work in eight days with 100 percent accuracy. “
Published in Dawn, 2 June 2020
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