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Pakistan International Airlines staff forgets to put boy's body on aircraft: Report

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Officials of PIA, the Civil Aviation Authority and police try to placate the protesting father of the deceased

Officials of PIA, the Civil Aviation Authority and police try to placate the protesting father of the deceased

Islamabad: In a shocking case of negligence, Pakistan International Airlines staff left behind at the airport here the body of a six-year-old boy who was to be sent to Pakistan-occupied Gilgit Baltistan on a flight on which his parents travelled, a media report said on Saturday.

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The deceased was receiving treatment at a hospital in Rawalpindi for a tumour when he passed away on Thursday, the Dawn newspaper reported.

His body was to be transported on Friday through a PIA flight to his native village of Katshi in the Pakistan-occupied Gilgit Baltistan region for burial.

The deceased's parents, who confirmed their tickets on a PIA flight from Islamabad to Skardu city on Friday morning, brought the body to the Islamabad airport at 6 am and completed the cargo procedure for the body.

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Upon arrival at Skardu, the parents were informed that the body was mistakenly not loaded on the plane and left behind at Islamabad airport.

The news sparked outrage, shocking the parents, who fainted at the airport. The relatives of the deceased, who were waiting to receive the body, also gathered at the airport’s lounge and protested for three hours against the PIA management’s negligence.

Parents and relatives of the deceased chanted slogans against the PIA administration, alleging that the poor family had paid a higher price to transport the body through the PIA flight, which in turn committed serious negligence.

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They appealed to the government to take action against those responsible for the negligence.

Officials of PIA, Civil Aviation Authority and other departments on duty at Skardu airport admitted their mistake and assured the parents of bringing back the body on Saturday.

The PIA officials said the company that handles cargo at the airport is responsible for not loading the body and added that action would be taken against it for negligence.

In 2022, the ailing national flag carrier stood as the country's third-highest public sector loss-making entity, requiring Pakistani Rs 11.5 billion per month solely for servicing its debts, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

According to the PIA's financial report, the airline suffered a loss of Rs 75 billion through nine months of 2023.

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