MULTAN (AFP) - A Pakistan International Airlines jet bound for Saudi Arabia with 508 people on board was forced to abort take-off Thursday when fumes engulfed a terrified cabin, officials and passengers said. The Boeing 747 on flight PK 3539 carrying pilgrims to the Saudi city of Jeddah taxied towards the runway in Multan despite concerns from passengers. When we boarded the plane, we felt a strange smell and smoke inside. We complained to the crew but they ignored it and told us it was because of roasted meals, Shamshad Begum, a female passenger, told AFP. The plane went for take-off but stopped minutes later when passengers protested strongly and there was chaos, she said. PIA spokesman Sultan Hassan said there were 493 pilgrims bound for the holy sites in Makkah and Medina and 15 crew on board. They were re-routed on another flight that finally took off nine hours later. The hydraulic system of the plane failed just before take-off and its fumes came inside the cabin, Hassan told AFP. We off-loaded the passengers and sent them on another plane to Jeddah at 12.00pm. Media has been rife with horror stories of technical faults and chronic delays blighting the ailing national carrier in recent weeks. Last month, bomb alerts forced two PIA planes to land at Istanbuls Ataturk Airport and in Kuala Lumpur, but no bombs were found. On July 28, 2010, an Airbus 321 passenger jet crashed in Islamabad while coming in to land, killing 152 people on board. The jet was operated by private company Airblue and it was the worst aviation tragedy in the country. On October 11, PIA flight PK-284 made an emergency landing at Quaid-e-Azam International Airport in Karachi due to cracked windscreen. According to details, the Peshawar bound flight coming from Dubai had to make emergency landing in Karachi for repair, after the pilot noticed the cracks in the windscreen.