A plane crash is a tragedy which wrenches the heart of a nation. There is a familiarity to the victims and to the horrifying accident that hits all too close to home and forces us to consider the vulnerability of our own lives and the lingering stench of death surrounding it. The entire country today has been left shocked in mourning due to this devastating, senseless loss.

The tragedy becomes even more melancholy considering it has occurred just days before Eid, painting a picture of happy passengers boarding the flight to go home to their loves ones after two months of lockdown, only to meet their demise minutes before landing. We stand in mourning too with the residents of Model Colony, Karachi, where the plane crashed, where several houses have been destroyed in the debris. As the lists containing the names of the passengers start coming in, media persons and the general public must remember to handle all information with the utmost respect to the privacy and concern of the families of the victims.

In the days that follow, investigations will be carried out, blame will be assigned, and officials will vow that these mistakes will never occur again. Yet today, when there is little confirmation of the sequence of events which led to the crash, let us refrain from pre-emptive accusations and speculations. Let it be a day of mourning and prayers. There are reports of there being survivors – current sources estimate anywhere from 15-40 survivors, although there are no official confirmations so far. While hope seems a stranger in these cruel unforgiving times, as a nation, we can just pray for miracles; that there be a maximum number of survivors and the families of the victims find peace and strength.