TODAY   |  July 28, 2010

Passenger jet crashes in Pakistan

Officials say there appears to be no sign of survivors or evidence of terrorism in a deadly passenger jet crash outside the capital city of Islamabad. NBC’s Martin Fletcher reports.

Share This:

This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

NATALIE MORALES, anchor: Yeah, this morning a search for survivors has given way to a search for clues now after a jetliner crashed in Pakistan . More than 150 people were aboard the flight from Karachi . It went down in bad weather near the capital of Islamabad . NBC 's Martin Fletcher 's monitoring the investigation for us from London . Martin , what can you tell us?

MARTIN FLETCHER reporting: Good morning, Natalie . Well, heavy monsoon rains, thick cloud, a difficult approach at Islamabad airport , and minutes before landing the pilot lost contact with the control tower. It still isn't clear what happened next until the crash. The Airbus slammed into a hillside minutes from the airport. An eyewitness said it was as if the plane lost balance and then went down about 9:30 AM local time in a remote area with no access by road. Rescuers followed the smoke to the wreckage, though, and dug desperately with their bare hands, sometimes forced back by fire and smoke. A hundred and fifty-two people were on board the flight from Karachi to the capital, Islamabad . All hospitals in the area are on emergency alert, but officials say there were no survivors.

Unidentified Man: Big tragedy.

FLETCHER: Shocked relatives gathered in the arrival hall. One said the weather was much too bad to fly in, and a pilot's representative said the plane appeared to have strayed off course due to weather. the plane was an Airbus 321, one of the world's most popular planes, belonging to a private airline, Airblue . Twenty-one have been lost in accidents since the plane was introduced 22 years ago. The black box hasn't yet been recovered, but so far there's no mention of terrorism or anything suspicious, just bad luck in terrible weather. Natalie :