ISLAMABAD – PIA Chairman Azam Saigol has categorically rubbished the rumors regarding the possibility of any technical or human error behind the PK-661 plane crash.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Wednesday he announced the death of all 48 on board adding that engine failure could be the reason behind crash.

‘I want to make it clear that it was a perfectly sound aircraft,” Saigol said, ruling out technical or human error. The aircraft appeared to have suffered a failure in one of its two turboprop engines just before the crash but this would have to be confirmed by an investigation.

‘Around 4:15pm the ATC received an emergency call from the pilot who informed them about the engine failure. A few minutes later, a mayday distress call was received from the pilot,’ he added.

‘Technically, the 2007-built aircraft had received its certification in October from the CAA’s technical team. It was one of the 11 ATRs the CAA has. The aircraft was perfect from all aspects and was reliable to fly as no technical fault was detected during its technical examination which was carried out 60 days back,’ he said.

The Chairman also expressed that the pilot Mansoor Janjua was an experienced pilot with 12000 hours of flying experience under his belt.

‘Families of all the victims will be paid financial compensation according to the law,’ the PIA chairman said.

PIA flight PK-661 took off from Chitral at 3:40pm on Wednesday and crashed near Havelian at 4:16pm, killing all 48 persons on board including five of crew members. Famous Islamic scholar Junaid Jamshed was also among the passengers.

Rescuers said that all bodies of the victims have been recovered from the site of crash and shifted the Islamabad where DNA tests will be carried out for the identification of the victims.