SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — A Pakistan International Airlines with 48 people on board, including a famous former pop singer, crashed near Abbottabad in northern Pakistan on Wednesday, government officials and the airline said.

The flight, PK 661, was en route to Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital city, from Chitral, a northern tourist destination near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, when it crashed, said Saeed Wazir, the deputy inspector general of police in Abbottabad district.

At least 40 bodies were removed from the crash site Wednesday night and transferred to a hospital in Abbottabad. Recovery efforts are still underway, with the aid of hundreds of soldiers, but officials held out little hope that any survivors from the crash would be found. “What locals from the crash scene are telling us, the passengers are all burned,” said Wazir. “Smoke and fire are billowing from the debris. No one can go near it. People are helpless.”

Pakistan International Airlines, the national carrier, issued a statement saying that 42 passengers, five crew members and one ground engineer were on the plane, an ATR-42 twin turboprop plane. The statement said the plane went down near the city of Havelian, in Abbottabad district.

The director general of the Civil Aviation Authority, Asim Suleiman, said that in the minutes before the crash, the plane’s pilot radioed to air traffic controllers that the left engine had flamed out. “Two minutes later, he lost contact,” Suleiman said.

A senior government official in Peshawar said three foreigners — one Australian, one Chinese and one Korean — were among the passengers.

The crash is again focusing attention on Pakistan’s troubled air travel industry. For years, Pakistan International Airlines has been buffeted by controversies over mismanagement, corruption and safety.

The two most recent major air crashes, however, involved private or local airlines. In 2012, a flight by Bhoja Air, a private carrier, crashed outside Islamabad, killing 127 people.