26th November 2020

PK-8303: A minute away and lost forever

This year, already being as catastrophic as it has been and as people were busy in worship during the last crucial days of Ramadan, looking forward to celebrating the auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, amidst this came the devastating news, which left us all in immense grief.  The PIA flight PK-8303, which was bound from Lahore to Karachi, on its final approach crashed close to the airport.

The PIA Airbus A-320 with 99 people on board came crashing down on a hugely populated residential area, sparkling a dreadful explosion with smoke fuming above the clouds and fire blazing across the wreckage.

The scenes of the rescue operation and the local residents trying their best to assist people amongst this tragedy was extremely sentimental to watch, leaving us in tears. The sight of ambulances loading causalities suffering from extreme burns, the panic and chaos was heart-rending to witness. This national catastrophe is going to be etched in our memories for a lifetime. 

The Prime minter Imran Khan has ordered an immediate inquiry into the crash and the Minster for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan has ordered the Aircraft Accident Investigation Board to investigate the incident. The PIA Air Marshall, Arshad Malik stated that a thorough enquiry into the horrendous episode will be conducted.

However, keeping the prior investigation’s accountability outcomes in mind, we all are aware that sadly, no results follow through such inquiries. Only just 4 years ago, we lost 47 precious lives as the PIA flight PK-661 from Chitral to Islamabad crashed leaving behind no survivors. Too early to predict, as the investigations are still ongoing, it seems as though there was a technical fault, as the Pilot reported in his last words that the aircraft had lost both of its engines and immediately issued a mayday call.

If this is the case, then PIA must scrutinise and get their act together to avoid such terrible mishaps. Being the leading airline of the country, they need to responsibly review their safety criterion on all of their aircrafts. It should be their prior responsibility to look into all the factors and ensure people are truthfully made aware of what reasons led to such an unfortunate event. 

Whilst condolences are pouring out, our hearts go out to all the people who have lost their loved ones in this very tragic event. After the long lockdown, families were looking forward on seeing their loved ones on Eid, but that rejoice turned into an utter misery. It is extremely agonizing to see people mourning over the irreplaceable loss of their loved ones. May Allah grant them the utmost strength in this difficult time.

The only thing that shed some relief was the miraculous survival of 2 people. This renews our faith in the wonders of destiny.

Let us all pray for the departed souls and hope this year does not unfold anymore unpleasant surprises.

Although the holy spirit of Eid was there, this year it was not the same, as in our consciousness, the thoughts of this misfortune continued to flash in our hearts and minds.

Fatima Ali,
Writer/Blogger based in Manchester.
Email: fatimaaliblog@outlook.com

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