Passenger to sue airline over fire


(eTN) – A passenger is sueing PIA after claiming she was burned whilst evacuating a plane that caught fire in Islamabad.

In the incident, which was reported by Asian Image at the time. Saiyea Bi, 25, said she had been on a return flight to Birmingham when one of the engines on the Pakistan International Airlines plane developed a fault.

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She said the plane was making its way down the runway when the pilot pulled the emergency brakes – avoiding a major accident by mere seconds.

Miss Bi, from Accrington, said she was sitting next to her sister Saika Khatoon when there was a big bang. The plane began to fill with smoke as its tyres set alight, she said.

She said: “It was horrific, everyone was screaming and shouting and trying to locate loved ones they were travelling with.”

Passengers were made to leave by the emergency exits, she said. Miss Bi said that both she and her sister suffered cuts, bruising and burns from touching the red hot body of the plane as they slid down the chute.

Miss Bi said: “We saw lots of people with burns and broken arms and legs. It was like a battle scene.”

The sisters said they were treated at the airport and saw a doctor a few days later.

Since coming home Miss Bi said she had suffered anxiety attacks as well as the after effects of her physical injuries.

She said she expected contact from PIA to offer compensation for her ordeal. But despite repeated attempts to contact the airline, she said no apology or offer of compensation had been forthcoming.

Passengers have legal protection under an international convention, which allows them to seek compensation in an English court rather than having to go through foreign legal systems.

Now the sisters have taken their case to Manchester solicitors, Pannone LLP.

Andrew Morton, a specialist in travel law at the firm, said: “To have experienced something as terrifying as this and suffering considerable physical and psychological injuries is bad enough, but to be apparently ignored by the airline involved literally adds insult to injury.

“We will be seeking an explanation for their actions and compensation for our clients.”

A British spokesman for Pakistan International Airlines said comments could only come from their headquarters in Pakistan. No one at the headquarters would comment.