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Pakistan Pilot Reported Engine Problem Before Crash

A boy plays with a paper plane near the site of a plane crash in the village of Saddha Batolni near Abbotabad on December 8.

The pilot of a commercial plane that crashed in northern Pakistan had told flight controllers of an engine problem, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) says.

Moments later, the pilot made a distress call shortly before losing contact, PIA Chairman Muhammad Azam Saigol said late on December 7.

Flight PK-661 crashed in the Havelian area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, some 70 kilometers north of Islamabad, during a flight from the northern city of Chitral to the capital.

All 47 people onboard the twin-propeller ATR-42 aircraft were killed.

An investigation is ongoing.

Saigol said the flight-data recorder has been found.

He also said the 9-year-old aircraft was deemed to be "technically sound" when it last underwent a detailed inspection in October.

Authorities said the passengers' remains were being taken to hospital for DNA testing and identification.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP