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Published On: Fri, May 22nd, 2020

Pakistan International Airlines Plane Crashes in Karachi

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piAKARACHI : A Pakistan International Airlines flight from Lahore, with 91 passengers and seven crew on board, crashed near the Karachi airport, just a minute before the Airbus A320 was to land this afternoon.
In the final moments before the crash, recorded on a flight tracking website, one of the pilots can be heard telling the Air Traffic Controller that they had lost both the engines, before sending the international distress message, “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday”.

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Passenger jet carrying at least 98 people crashed Friday into a residential neighborhood of the Pakistani port city of Karachi. A spokesman for the country’s flagship carrier PAI said flight PK 8303 went down carrying 99 passengers and 8 crew. There was no official word on the number of casualties .
The crash comes just days after Pakistan began allowing commercial flights to resume after planes were grounded due to the lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic.
Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar was quoted by The Associated Press as telling reporters at the scene that all those who had been on board the jetliner died in the crash, but officials with the national government said at least two people from the plane were believed to have survived.
The PIA flight PK-8303 went down in a densely populated residential area – Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir – just short of the Jinnah International Airport. “The plane first hit a mobile tower and crashed over houses,” an eyewitness was quoted as saying.pakistan-karachi-plane-crash-1214576702
PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez said that the A320 Airbus was carrying 90 passengers and 8 crew members from Lahore to Karachi on PK 8303. Eyewitnesses said the Airbus A320 appeared to attempt to land two or three times before crashing in a residential area near the airport.
The wreckage and several houses in the area are on fire, visuals by Pakistan media showed. Plumes of smoke could be seen billowing in the sky as ambulances tried to make their way through.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan said and immediate inquiry will be instituted in the crash. “Shocked & saddened by the PIA crash. Am in touch with PIA CEO Arshad Malik. Immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers & condolences go to families of the deceased,” he tweeted.
According to Pakistan media report, Pak Army Quick Reaction Force and Pakistan Rangers are at the crash site to assist in relief and rescue efforts, which have been hindered due to the presence of a large crowd and narrow lanes.
Karachi and Lahore are about 1,020 km apart and it takes under two hours for a flight to cover the distance. In 2016, a Pakistan International Airlines plane burst into flames after one of its two turboprop engines failed while flying from the remote northern to Islamabad, killing more than 40 people.
Meeran Yousuf, the media coordinator for the Sindh health minister, confirmed to Dawn.com that three passengers had survived and were brought to hospitals. She identified the survivors as Zubair, Tahira and Zafar Masood, who is the president of Bank of Punjab.
PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez said that the A320 Airbus was carrying 90 passengers and 8 crew members from Lahore to Karachi on PK 8303. Eyewitnesses said the Airbus A320 appeared to attempt to land two or three times before crashing in a residential area near the airport.
(With Inputs from Agencies).

 

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