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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pakistan declares national mourning over plane crash

slamabad: Pakistan declared a day of national mourning and called off a cabinet meeting after a passenger jet with 147 on board crashed into hills outside the capital Islamabad on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and the cabinet "expressed grief and sorrow over the tragic incident" and offered prayers for passengers who were killed, Gilani's office said in a statement.

"The federal cabinet declared one day national mourning because of this tragic incident. The prime minister called off the cabinet meeting until next week in the wake of this tragic incident," it added.

The plane, which was carrying 140 passengers and seven crew members, was circling around Islamabad in heavy monsoon rain and low cloud, when it crashed into the highest mountain range in Islamabad on Wednesday. Five children and two infants were on board, says an Airblue employee.

Dozens of rescue workers and four Pakistan Army helicopters are now struggling to sift through a field of debris from the crashed A321, which was operated by a private airline, Airblue.

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