At least 17 people, including five crew members and 12 civilians, were killed in the wee hours of Tuesday, July 30, after a Pakistani military aircraft on a training flight crashed into a residential area in Rawalpindi.
Issuing a statement, the Pakistan military said five soldiers were among those killed in the plane crash and another 20 people have been injured. "Around 12 people, including soldiers, died in the crash and authorities have declared an emergency in hospitals," said Farooq Butt, an official at the state-run emergency service.
A rescue operation is still underway. Military and civilian rescue teams are present at the spot of the accident. The injured have been admitted to the hospital, the statement from the army's communications wing said.
The death toll from the plane crash could rise as some of the injured people are listed in critical condition. It has been reported that around five houses were damaged and caught fire due to the mishap.
Photos and videos of the aircraft crash are doing the rounds on social media. A video posted on Twitter showed the aircraft flying low before it crashed into the village, igniting a large explosion that lit the night sky. Watch the video here:
BREAKING : A small aircraft which took off from #Islamabad international airport, #Pakistan has crashed in a housing society in the city of #Rawalpindi, 4 people died, 3-4 houses are completely damaged due to a #planecrash in #Rawalpindi. pic.twitter.com/T4JyXA96WK— Ghulam Abbas Shah (@ghulamabbasshah) July 29, 2019
The website of a newspaper -- The News -- carried footage showing a building engulfed in flames.
However, the cause of the crash or the type of aircraft involved is yet to be ascertained.