127 people died in Bhoja Air Crash
Capt. Suleman Shah Mahtab, Ph.D. - Scholar President, Fire & Safety Association of Pakistan (FPAP)
to a friend
It is absolutely tragic news that 127 people died in an air crash near Islamabad, Capital of Pakistan. We consider it a national loss and present our sincerest condolences to the entire nation and the members of bereaved families and pray for the departed souls.
Indeed, we are deeply shocked by this tragic, yet avoidable, loss of so many precious lives.
An emergency meeting was called in Rawalpindi by the Fire & Safety Association of Pakistan to discuss the incident and extend our cooperation for the smooth postincident operations. It was remarkable that all responding departments and agencies, including CDA, CAA, Rescue 1122 and Municipal/City Fire Brigades, came together to jointly carry out the rescue operations. The absence of an immediate availability of helicopters or air rescue wing was noticed as ground operations were made difficult by the adverse weather. “It is beyond imagination that there was no air support available on scene on such type of major air crash”, sadly said Anwar Ghore the CAA Chief Fire & Rescue at the Benazir International Airport.
We cannot exonerate ourselves from responsibilities, to ensure that all air operations and flights are conducted safely at all times, by simply blaming the ‘adverse weather conditions’. There may be more than one reason for this tragic incident and we, all the executives, directors and members of FSAP, demand for a professional, fair and fast investigation of the incident and the detailed outcome of the investigation and recommendations are made public.
After the tragic incident of Air Blue in July 2010, FSAP conducted a thorough academic and research meetings to find obvious and under-lying causes of the incident and the difficulties responding agencies were to face. Several recommendations were suggested and put forward to all relevant departments including National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). One of these recommendations was the immediate availability of helicopters and other air response
units in such type of unfortunate incidents. It appears that NDMA and other concerned departments did not bother looking into these recommendations exactly as they did not approved the unanimously drafted Fire & Safety Policy of Pakistan that was submitted more than two year from now.
“It is certainly a matter of great concern that none of the government leaders, including President and Prime Minister of Pakistan, have ever taken notice of this vital issue of what kind of disaster plans this country has, perhaps none”, said Ghulam Mohammad Naz, Vice President of FSAP.
“It is shameful that the Government and its departments are so shameless that they are determined not to do things that are supposed to be done and vice versa. The safety and security of people must be the first priority for the governments, but it’s not”, “there is no Safety Act or Policy in the country, and nobody bothers here”, “and we FIRE & SAFETY ASSOCIATION OF PAKISTAN should be seeing more and more of similar incidents and disasters in the country, unfortunate but that is what the fact is”, said Capt. Suleman Shah Mahtab, President of FSAP while speaking on phone from Canada.