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April 23, 2012

After Bhoja airline crash, now narrow escape for two other Pak planes

     Karachi/Lahore/Islamabad: Days after the fatal Bhoja Airline crash, two airliners narrowly escaped disasters in Karachi and Lahore, respectively, on Sunday, prompting the authorities to order a ‘shakedown inspection’ of all private airlines. Shaheen Air’s flight NL-122 with 160 passengers, coming from Islamabad, made an emergency landing at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport after its rear left tyre burst, breaking the landing gear and blocking the runway for eight hours. In the second incident, passengers of Shaheen Air’s Iran-bound flight NL-742 had to disembark at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport due to fuel leakage. No one was hurt in both incidents. Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar said the shakedown inspection would include checking the fitness of the planes and crew members. Aircrafts having standards lower than international criterion would be barred from flying, he added. Shaheen Air spokesperson Farooq Nasir accused media of sensationalising the events. “The media has played up these incidents, especially the second one,” he told the Express Tribune. “The aircrafts are properly checked by our engineers and the regulator would not allow anything to fly that is technically unfit,” he added.
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