Airblue A321 involved in fatal Pakistan crash identified

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The aircraft involved in today's crash in Pakistan has been identified as an Airbus A321 operated by privately-owned Pakistani carrier Airblue.

Airbus says the A321 has local registration AP-BJB and manufacturer's serial number 1218. Flightglobal's ACAS database says that International Lease Finance (ILFC) is the aircraft's owner and that it is one of three A321s in Airblue's fleet. Airblue also operates one Airbus A320 and two Airbus A319s, says ACAS.

Airbus says the A321 involved in today's crash was built in the year 2000 and that Airblue started leasing it in January 2006.

The International Aero Engine (IAE) powered aircraft had accumulated approximately 34,000 flight hours in some 13,500 flights, it adds.

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Airblue's A321 crashed today at around 10:00hr local time on the outskirts of Islamabad. It had been on a scheduled flight from Karachi to Islamabad and reportedly had 146 passengers and six crew on board.

The aircraft crashed into Islamabad's densely forested Margalla Hills. There was rain and low lying cloud at the time of the crash.

Some rescuers have reached the crash site and started to recover the bodies. But some reports, quoting from the country's interior minister Rehman Malik, say rescuers have also found five survivors so far.

The last time that Pakistan had a fatal crash, involving a passenger commercial aircraft, was in 2006 when a Pakistan International Airlines Fokker F27 crashed and killed 45 people.