WhatsApp Logo Subscribe
For News Alert

News

Virus compounds Pakistan plane crash grief

June 2, 2020 05:45 PM


Twitter Share Facebook Share WhatsApp Share

Gathered together via Zoom, friends and relatives of Wahida and Fazal Rahmaan watched from afar as the beloved couple were buried in Pakistan, days after they were killed in a plane crash.

For many who lost loved ones in the May 22 tragedy, grief has been compounded by the coronavirus, which has made travel to funerals impossible and attendance dangerous. The Rahmaans, married 53 years, were among 97 people killed when the Pakistan International Airlines Airbus plummeted into a Karachi neighbourhood, killing all but two people on board.

"The most instinctual human response to grief is to hold on to somebody and hug somebody," said Adil Rahman, one of the couple's four sons, who spells his name slightly differently than his parents. "Covid has stripped us from that."

Instead Rahman watched the burial of his 80-year-old father and mother -- who would have turned 75 on Friday -- from his Missouri home in the US, where he works in IT. Like many other nations Pakistan has closed its borders to international travellers in an effort to contain the deadly disease.

Zoom's video-conferencing platform on Friday showed a grid of grief-stricken faces with the largest frame showing the funeral in Lahore, where an imam with a mask over his long beard recited the Koran as a small group of mourners covered the Rahmaans' graves in flowers.

Rahman said the delay in identifying the bodies added to the family's grief, discovering first from local television that their mother's body had been identified, which he described as a "gut punch".

"And you don't know how to recover from that," he said. The family chose not to hold a traditional large funeral because of COVID-19, in a country where the disease first appeared slowly but is now picking up pace.

About 72,000 cases have been reported with more than 1,500 deaths -- but the virus is now spreading at an accelerating rate. The Rahmaans took Flight 8303 to visit their son in Karachi at the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Investigators have uncovered the Airbus's black box and cockpit voice recorder, and Pakistani authorities hope to release initial findings June 22. During the ill-fated flight, the pilots made a first landing attempt and the plane briefly touched the ground multiple times, before attempting a second try. Experts say pilots likely tried to land the Airbus without lowering the wheels, damaging both engines so badly they soon failed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XpMCGt6uvA


Most Read

  1. More flights cancelled from Karachi Airport More flights cancelled from Karachi Airport
  2. Missing young boy found dead at Islamabad’s Trail 5 Missing young boy found dead at Islamabad’s Trail 5
  3. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif declares May 28 as official holiday to celebrate Youm-e-Takbeer Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif declares May 28 as official holiday to celebrate Youm-e-Takbeer
  4. Rabeeca Khan and Hussain Tareen seal their bond from ‘Best Friends to Life Partners’ Rabeeca Khan and Hussain Tareen seal their bond from ‘Best Friends to Life Partners’
  5. Hardik Pandya to forfeit 70% of assets to Natasha in divorce settlement? Hardik Pandya to forfeit 70% of assets to Natasha in divorce settlement?
  6. Netizens call out Shiraz's father for cheap publicity stunt Netizens call out Shiraz's father for cheap publicity stunt

Opinion

  1. Congo coup failed, Malanga killed
    Congo coup failed, Malanga killed

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  2. Hats off to Fatah-II
    Hats off to Fatah-II

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  3. New twist in PTI founder’s strategy towards Military Establishment
    New twist in PTI founder’s strategy towards Military Establishment

    By Salim Bokhari

  4. Revoke the heat stroke
    Revoke the heat stroke

    By Dr Asif Channer

  5. Defiance, sacrifice & national resilience
    Defiance, sacrifice & national resilience

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  6. Maryam Nawaz Sharif's Police Uniform: Breaking Gender Stereotypes, Not Minds
    Maryam Nawaz Sharif's Police Uniform: Breaking Gender Stereotypes, Not Minds

    By Alysha Khan