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Pakistani Plane Crashes, Killing all 47 on Board

  • Ayaz Gul

An airport security officer directs a motorcyclist at the entrance to the Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad, Pakistan, Dec. 7, 2016.

A Pakistani plane crashed while traveling from the northern town of Chitral to Islamabad Wednesday, killing all 47 people on board.

Flight 661, of the state-run Pakistan International Airlines, or PIA, went down in an isolated mountainous area near the town of Havelian before bursting into flames, witnesses and provincial police said.

Forty-two passengers and five crew members were on board the ATR-42 turboprop aircraft. All the bodies were recovered.

The airline later posted the passenger manifest on its website.

PIA chairman Azam Sehgal said that before the plane disappeared from radar, the pilot had informed the control tower that one of the engines stopped functioning. Sehgal added that an investigation has been launched.

WATCH: Eyewitness video from crash scene

Bodies of most of the dead, said witnesses, were burned beyond recognition and authorities were conducting DNA tests to identify the remains before handing them over to loved ones.

A military spokesman said its troops and helicopters helped in recovery efforts.

A renowned Pakistani singer turned-preacher-turned entrepreneur, Junaid Jamshed, and his wife were among the passengers, his family and PIA officials confirmed. Authorities also say three foreign nationals, among them a Chinese citizen, were on board. Two Australians were also said to be on the flight.

The last major air crash in Pakistan occurred in 2012 when a passenger plane belonging to a private carrier went down near Islamabad while trying to land during a thunderstorm. All 127 people on board were killed.

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