Security precaution: Rocket scare delays PIA flight

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 10:30:22 by


A rocket attack launched by suspected Taliban militants near the Kandahar Airport on Tuesday forced authorities to pull off a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aircraft from the runway as fear gripped crew and passengers, airline officials said.

With 20 Quetta-bound passengers on board, PIA’s ATR aircraft bearing flight number PK -199 was due to take off at 11:20 in the morning when a security alert was raised following an assault on a nearby installation of the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf).

The flight reached Baloch­istan’s capital two hours later than the scheduled time.

“Neither the plane nor the passengers were in danger at any point of time,” claimed a PIA spokesperson. “It is by chance that the incident happened when our plane was on the runway for takeoff,” he added.

The spokesperson clarified that the airline would continue to operate two weekly flights to Kandahar.  Hundreds of people cross borders between the two countries every day to earn a living or meet relatives. Relatively better medical facilities in Pakistan also attract Afghan nationals.

“As a matter of fact, PIA is constantly reviewing the passenger traffic trend and if there is a need, we might increase the number of flights,” said the spokesperson.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2013.

Quetta News Sources -2

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