After I came across this news I thought that maybe I was just reading something by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but sadly this was the truth and nothing more. A Saudi Airline Flight - 163 took off on the 19th of August 1980. The Flight had departed but within midair a fire broke out inside. A state of emergency broke out and preparations were made for the plane to land. What's so surprising is that that the plane landed safely but when the doors were opened all the 287 passengers and 14 air crew members were found dead. No one had survived-neither the staff nor the passengers. There were a total of 301 people on board of this unfortunate flight. All had been found dead.
When the plane landed there was no way someone could think that this flight had been subjected to a fire. There were no flames, or marks on the outside of the plane but as the doors were opened flames and smoke filled the inside. There were 14 Staff members and 287 passengers including the old, children and infants. The Autopsy reports of these victims showed that all of them died from inhalation of the smoke and not burns. This was pretty odd that in a fire you usually die of burns. This emphasizes that the passengers all died long before the plane landed.
This Flight had to be landed at Riyadh International Airport which is now the Riyadh Base, but ultimate destination was Jeddah. Riyadh was a stop in between the planes journey. The Flight originally took off from Quaid-e-Azam International Airport situated in Karachi, Pakistan. Reports and other investigations showed that the flight had caught fire in its cargo within seven minutes after taking off. This accident proved to be the deadliest in around the world. Many investigations were carried out after the accident to map out exactly what happened. There were people from all around of different continents on board including Pakistan, Britain, Japan, Philippines etc.
Lives that were lost in this act of casualty cannot ever be replaced. It is always important to take necessary acts to ensure the safety of the people which may have not been taken into consideration. Reports had showed that there was a pilot problem due to which the fire broke out. The mystery however was as why the captain did not order out an emergency situation on the plane after the fire had been known.
The plane was opened and inspected twenty three minutes after landing to ensure that there wasn't any serious fire but as the R2 door was opened, the plane outburst and caught fire. Some questions remain unanswered which probably only those on board could have explained well. You can read the findings report in this link "Finding Report of the Incident"
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