Pakistan moves against airline after crash

By ZARAR KHAN,Associated Press Updated at 2012-04-21 05:12:21 +0000

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ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan blocked the head of an airline whose jet crashed near the capital from leaving the country as it began an investigation Saturday into the country's second major air disaster in less then two years.

The Bhoja Air passenger jet crashed Friday as it tried to land in a thunderstorm at Islamabad's main airport, killing all 127 people on board. The airline, which resumed operations in March after an 11-year pause, has said the weather was the cause.

Speaking at the scene of the crash, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Saturday that Farooq Bhoja, head of Bhoja Air, had been put on the "exit control list," meaning he can't leave Pakistan. Such a ban is often put on someone suspected or implicated in a criminal case.

Malik said that "it is being said that the aircraft was pretty old, so it has been ordered to investigate thoroughly the air worthiness of the Bhoja Air aircraft."

"The causes will be investigated, whether it was any fault in the aircraft, it was lightning, the bad weather or any other factor that caused loss of precious lives," he said.