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PIA plane with VIPs on board catches fire

03 December, 2012

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KARACHI: The engine of an Islamabad-bound Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight, with MNAs, federal ministers, and the chief justice of Pakistan on board caught fire just before take off on Sunday.

The flight, PK-300, was on the taxiway when the fire broke out in one of its engines, media reported. Declaring emergency, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) cancelled the flight. Rescue teams were sent to bring the fire under control and for evacuation of passengers.

Federal Minister Maula Bux Chandio, talking to a private TV channel, slammed PIA "for its mismanagement and utter incompetence".

"Smoke billowing out of the burning engine escaped into fuselage after they opened the emergency exit hatch. It was suffocating in there. I saw many passengers, who were not feeling well at all, gasping for air," said the minister.

MNA Yousuf Talpur, who was also on the plane, picked apart PIA for risking passengers' lives by using planes which should have been retired by now.

End.

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