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PIA personnel neglect to place the boy’s body on plane

In a tragic turn of events, a PIA flight departing from Islamabad to Skardu inadvertently left behind the body of a six-year-old boy on Friday. Unaware of the grave error, the grieving parents continued their journey, only to be confronted with the shocking news upon their arrival at Skardu airport.

The heartbroken parents, residents of Katshi village in Kharmang district, were devastated upon learning that their son’s body had been unintentionally left behind in Islamabad. Mujtaba, their beloved child, had been diagnosed with a tumor in Skardu and had been receiving treatment in Rawalpindi for weeks after doctors referred him there a month ago. Tragically, Mujtaba passed away at Benazir Bhutto Hospital on Thursday.

Determined to transport their child’s body to their native village of Katshi for burial, the parents opted to book a PIA flight on Friday, as the scorching weather made the 24-hour journey by road from Islamabad to Skardu with the body unfeasible.

Shocked parents, relatives protest against airline management’s negligence at Skardu airport

The parents of the deceased boy, along with another relative, confirmed their tickets for flight PK-451 from Islamabad to Skardu on Friday morning. Arriving at Islamabad airport at 6 am, they completed the necessary cargo procedures for the body, adhering to standard operating procedures (SOPs) and the airline’s regulations, and made the required payment.

Ibrahim Asadi, a relative of the deceased, informed that the body was supposed to accompany the parents on the 9 am flight to Skardu from Islamabad. However, due to a four-hour delay, the flight departed Islamabad at 1 pm.

Upon reaching Skardu airport at 2 pm, the parents were informed that, regrettably, the body had not been loaded onto the plane and had been left behind at Islamabad airport.

The heartbreaking news prompted an outpouring of grief and anger; the parents were shocked, with the mother and father collapsing in tears at the airport. Meanwhile, relatives awaiting the body gathered in the airport lounge and staged a protest against the negligent handling by PIA management, which lasted for three hours.

Officials from PIA, the Civil Aviation Authority, and other relevant departments stationed at Skardu airport endeavored to console the bereaved parents and relatives, acknowledging the mistake and assuring them that the body would be returned on Saturday (today).

PIA officials attributed the oversight to the cargo handling company at the airport and promised the parents that appropriate action would be taken against them for their negligence.

The parents and relatives of the boy raised slogans against the PIA administration, expressing their dismay that despite paying a premium for transportation via PIA flight, such a serious lapse occurred. They appealed to the government to hold those accountable for the negligence.

Yousaf Kamal, another relative of the deceased, suggested that the body had been intentionally left behind, alleging that the delay was to accommodate Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Engr Amir Muqam’s change in travel plans.

He claimed that the flight from Islamabad to Gilgit, initially scheduled for the minister, was postponed due to adverse weather conditions, resulting in the subsequent delay of the Skardu-bound flight to accommodate the minister’s changed itinerary, consequently leaving the body stranded at the airport.

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