Updated: 08/12/16 : 05:22:52
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World :: Pakistan plane crash kills 48 people

The pilot of a flight that crashed in Pakistan made a mayday call just before losing contact, the airline said.

He also told flight controllers of an engine problem at 16:09 local time (11:09 GMT/Irish Time) on Wednesday, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Chairman Azam Sehgal told reporters.

All 48 people on the twin-propeller plane flying to Islamabad were killed.

The carrier has insisted strict checks left "no room for any technical error". An investigation is ongoing.

"I want to make it clear that it was a perfectly sound aircraft," Mr Sehgal said.

Irfan Elahi, from Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority, told Dawn newspaper: "At the moment, there is no other reason for the plane crash other than the failure of the left engine."

The plane crashed in the Havelian area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, about 70km (43 miles) from Islamabad.

Police say the rescue operation is now over and that passengers' remains have been taken to a hospital for DNA identification as they are burned beyond recognition.

Famous pop singer turned Islamic preacher Junaid Jamshed was on board, along with three foreigners -two Austrians and one Chinese citizen.

Plane crashes are not uncommon in Pakistan, but the last major crash involving a PIA aircraft was in 2006, in which 44 people died.