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Pakistan mourns in crash aftermath

By Reza Sayah, CNN
A volunteer sits next to a coffin at a makeshift morgue at Islamabad, Pakistan's main hospital.
A volunteer sits next to a coffin at a makeshift morgue at Islamabad, Pakistan's main hospital.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Local official: 130 bodies recovered; 22 unaccounted for
  • Crews fight through monsoon rains, rough terrain to find flight data, voice recorders

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Every time the automatic doors at the outpatient ward of Islamabad's main hospital slid open, they revealed a thick white mist lingering inside.

The ward had been turned into a makeshift morgue Thursday for the victims of the plane crash outside Islamabad a day earlier.

The mist was a disinfectant used to kill the odor and airborne germs from dozens of remains that were being stored inside.

Recovery crews ended the search for bodies in the hills north of the capital on Thursday where the Airblue Airbus A321 went down, government officials told CNN.

Ramzan Sajid, a local official in Islamabad, said 130 bodies were recovered from the crash site and delivered to several nearby hospitals.

"Not a single body was intact," Sajid said.

Amir Ali, another local official in Islamabad, told CNN 66 bodies had been identified by Thursday night. He said hospital officials were taking on the grim task of matching body parts to identify 22 passengers who are still unaccounted for.

Video: Pakistani hospital turned into morgue
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  • Pakistan

Bodies mutilated beyond recognition will have to be identified with DNA tests and blood samples from relatives, Ali said.

Scores of grief-stricken Pakistanis arrived at Islamabad's hospitals looking for their loved ones' remains. "Our family members are depressed," said a teary-eyed Fayyaz Hussain Shah, who identified the remains of his brother.

"My brother's wife and her children are consoling each other, but it will take ages to get things back to normal." Once remains are identified they are placed in wooden coffins and delivered to families. As it is customary in Islam to bury the dead as soon as possible, many families drove directly to cemeteries.

At the crash site crews fought through a second day of monsoon rains and rough terrain to look for the plane's flight data and voice recorders. Investigators say they'll need the recorders to find out why a relatively new plane, piloted by someone with 35 years of flying experience, suddenly crashed.

 
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