LAHORE - National flag carrier transported 105 passengers from Lahore to Rahim Yar Khan by road even after charging airfare from them.

PIA flight Pk-296 coming from Abu Dhabi to Lahore via Rahim Yar Khan (RYK) could not land at RYK airport due to poor visibility there and landed at Sialkot airport since visibility in Lahore was also poor.

After landing at Sialkot airport, passengers were disembarked and shifted to waiting lounge at 8:00 am on Saturday morning. After making them wait for about two hours there, visibility at Lahore airport improved and plane was operated to Lahore and airline management asked the passengers to come out of the plane on which passengers refused.

A PIA officer said that there was 200 meters visibility at RYK airport due to which pilot over flew the flight to Allama Iqbal International Airport Lahore but he had to face the same situation there. Air traffic Control directed the pilot to land at Sialkot airport.

After departure from Sialkot, when plane landed at Lahore airport passengers refused to disembark. They were off loaded with the promise to send them to hotel for stay and to send them RYK by air after visibility becomes better. But when they came out of the plane they were asked to board the buses to travel by road for RYK. Passengers protested at airport against the treatment of the airline staff and after some time they boarded the buses and set off for their destination.

Agencies add: The airline staffers offered to take the passengers to their desired destination by a bus. However, the passengers turned down the offer and refused to leave the plane.

Following this, the airline staffers switched off the plane's air conditioning system, resulting in suffocation of passengers, including minors, in the plane.

The approximate distance from Lahore to Rahim Yar Khan is 624.5 km.

The passengers said that they had asked the airlines to drop them at Multan Airport which is 292 kilometres away from Rahim Yar Khan.