ISLAMABAD, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- No one survived after a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane with 48 people aboard crashed into the country's north mountainous area in Havelian on Wednesday, officials said.
PIA Chairman Azam Sehgal told a news conference that there were no survivors in the plane crash.
A full investigation will be conducted, he said as the black box of the ill-fated aircraft was found by rescuers from the Pakistani army.
Acccording to the airline's website, three foreigners, including two Austrians and one Chinese national, were also among the deceased passengers. The Chinese embassy has confirmed that a Chinese man was killed in the tragedy.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the Pakistani army, said 40 bodies out of all the 48 victims had been recovered from the wreckage of the crashed plane.
The ISPR said that 500 soldiers and doctors were taking part in the rescue operation.
A total of 32 bodies have been shifted to Ayub medical complex Abbotabad by the rescue teams.
Doctor Manan, deputy medical superintendent at the hospital, said all the bodies were burnt beyond recognition so the identification process will be completed by the DNA test. Medical team was sent to the hospital to identify the bodies which will be handed over to relatives after tests.
A PIA spokesperson said the ATR-42 plane crashed when it was on its way to the capital Islamabad from the north Chitral district, adding that the PK-661 flight took off at 3:40 p.m. local time (1040 GMT) and lost access with the radar at 4:20 p.m. (1120 GMT).
Eyewitnesses said the plane crashed into the hills and caught fire, adding that they put out the fire with mud and tree branches before the arrival of the rescue teams.
Cause of the crash has not been determined yet, but sharing initial investigations, Irfan Elahi, secretary of the Civil Aviation Authority, said one of the two engines of the plane met a technical fault.
PIA Chairman Sehgal also said it seemed the French-made aircraft crashed due to failure of one engine.