KARACHI: As officials in Pakistan struggle to find out the cause of the deadliest plane crash in four years that killed 47 people including popstar-turned-Muslim evangelist and began collecting DNA of the victims, France-based turboprop aircraft manufacturer ATR on Friday offered a helping hand in the investigation.

An ATR-42 aircraft carrying 47 people issued a Mayday call on Wednesday before losing radar contact and crashing into a mountain, killing everyone on board.

Engine trouble was initially believed responsible, but many questions remain, stirring new worries about the safety record of Pakistani International Airlines (PIA).

The aircraft appeared to have suffered a failure in one of its two turboprop engines just before the crash, to be confirmed by an investigation.


Official sources confirmed that once the company gets a green signal from PIA to visit Pakistan, a 5-member specialist team of ATR would also meet the Safety and Investigation Board (SIB) of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to get a breakthrough in the crash probe.

Meanwhile, separate teams of Pakistan army, CAA and PIA said they have gathered evidence from the crash site while taking voice recorder of the aircraft into their custody.

Earlier, aviation officials also recovered black box, a small machine in a plane that records all the details of each flight and is useful for finding out the cause of an accident and sent it to the laboratory.

The CAA also launched a comprehensive inspection of ATR planes being flown by the national airline during which they would go through a ‘shakedown’ check after the tragic crash.

The ATR-42 and ATR-72 planes in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar would come under detailed scrutiny with the help of PIA engineers.