Friday, February 24, 2012

Lahore, Pakistan - Plane crash victims laid to rest

KARACHI/HYDERABAD, Feb 24: The young pilot and co-pilot of a two-seater light plane that crashed in Lahore on Thursday were laid to rest in Hyderabad and Karachi, respectively, on Friday.

The female pilot and instructor, Anita Qureshi, and the trainee co-pilot, Waqar Asif, both in their 20s, died when the plane crashed into the lawn of a house in Model Town, Lahore.

Their bodies were flown to Karachi in the morning before Ms Qureshi`s body was transported to Hyderabad for burial.

She was buried in the Shah Bukhari graveyard of the Qasimabad area in Hyderabad.

Mr Asif was buried in the Bhitaiabad graveyard of Gulistan-i-Jauhar.

Eldest among two brothers and two sisters, Mr Asif was taking his last flight on Thursday to complete his training with a total of 120 hours of flying.

He was to marry his cousin after a few months. Nikah had already been performed.

Ms Qureshi, who started her aviation career in 2007, got her flying licence the following year. She then joined the Walton airport-based commercial flying service, Hybrid Aviation.

She was second last among six siblings.

Her brother, Arshad Qureshi, said that his family had recently come to know that the plane was to be grounded soon.

While expressing a lack of confidence in the crash inquiry ordered by the Civil Aviation Authority, he demanded a judicial probe into the incident.

According to police, a seven-member investigation team of the Civil Aviation Authority have found that fuel shortage was not the cause of the crash.

The police said the experts suspected that the crash might have occurred due to the negligence of the co-pilot. This was the second incident in which a light airplane flown from the Walton Airport crashed.

Earlier, a two-seater sports aircraft crashed while landing at the airport on Sept 29, 2006, leaving the veteran pilot and his friend dead.

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