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Crews complete search for bodies after Pakistan crash

By Reza Sayah, CNN
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Plane crash in Pakistan kills 152
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Officials say it's the worst passenger plane crash on Pakistani soil
  • Search ends for bodies in Pakistani crash
  • Two of the people on board the flight were Americans, the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan says
RELATED TOPICS
  • Pakistan

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Recovery crews ended the search for bodies in the hills north of Islamabad Thursday where a passenger plane crashed a day earlier killing all 152 aboard, a 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.

He said hospital officials are trying to match body parts to account for the remains of 22 other people.

Pakistan observed a day of mourning Thursday for victims of the accident, called the worst passenger plane crash ever on Pakistani soil.

Officials do not know if weather played a factor in the crash Wednesday. Recovery crews have yet to find the plane's voice and data recorders.

At Pakistan's Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital friends and family members of the passengers waited to identify their loved ones' remains.

Amir Ali, another local government official in Islamabad, told CNN 66 bodies have been identified. Among them, 52 have been handed over to their families.

The remaining bodies may have to identified with DNA tests and blood samples from relatives, Ali said.

Crews will stay at the crash site to collect any remaining debris and search for the plane's flight data and voice recorders, said Sajid. Another day of torrential rains in Islamabad Thursday hampered those efforts.

Investigators say they won't be able to explain why the plane crash until they review the plane's data recorders.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani cancelled a cabinet meeting, and flags across the country flew at half-staff.

The deadliest crash involving a Pakistani airline occurred in September 1992, when a Pakistan International Airlines Airbus crashed into a mountain in Nepal, killing all 167 people on board, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

Pakistan is in the midst of the annual monsoon season, when rain sweeps across the subcontinent from June until September.

The Airblue plane was headed to Islamabad from the sea port city of Karachi when it crashed in a hillside while trying to land.

The Airbus A321 was carrying 146 passengers and six crew members, the airline said.

The U.S. Embassy in Pakistan said two of the people aboard were American citizens.