CAIRNS: Pakistan and Cricket Australia XI players observed a minute’s silence to pay respect to the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight number 661 crash victims during a tour match at Cazaly’s Stadium in Cairns on Thursday.
The PIA flight smashed into a hillside in the country’s north after one of its two turboprop engines failed while travelling from the city of Chitral to the capital Islamabad.
It burst into flames upon impact and parts of the wreckage were found hundreds of metres away from the main crash site in Abbottabad district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The dead included Junaid Jamshed, one of the country’s best loved singers who later became a Muslim evangelist, as well as senior local officials and three foreigners – two Austrians and one Chinese.
Dozens of friends and family members gathered at hospitals in Islamabad and Rawalpindi on Thursday to try to identify the badly charred and dismembered remains. Relatives have been asked to submit DNA samples to help the identification process.
Pakistan team are in Australia where they play the first of three Tests – a day-night affair in Brisbane – from December 15. The remaining two Tests will be played in Melbourne (December 26-30) and Sydney (January 3-7).
Pakistan will also play five one-day internationals in Australia.
Cricketers condole tragic PIA crash
Words can’t describe how I’m feeling.This is a national tragedy. Our airline,in our country with our countrymen.Too much sadness
— Wasim Akram (@wasimakramlive) December 8, 2016
My heart goes out to the families whose loved ones were lost. May Allah make it easy. Let’s say Fatiha for all & sp Junaid Jamshed bhai RIP
— Shoaib Malik (@realshoaibmalik) December 7, 2016
My heart goes out to ththe families of those on board the PIA flight. I am praying that rescuers get some survivors. Mercy Almighty!!!
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) December 7, 2016
No words can ever express our pain … our loss. May Allah have mercy on the deceased and give sabr to their families, Ameen.
— Inzamam-ul-Haq (@InziTheLegend) December 7, 2016