A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane with over 100 passengers on board crashed in a residential area while landing at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi on Friday. According to the sources, the plane crashed a minute before its landing.
The flight PK-303 from Lahore was about to land in Karachi when it crashed at the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir. According to the Pakistani media report, the PIA aircraft which crashed was an Airbus 320 carrying close to 100 people with about 85 in the economy class and six in the business class.
The reports also state that the communication with the plane was cut off one minute before its landing. The flight took off from Lahore's Allama Iqbal International Airport and crashed in Model Colony, approximately 4 kilometers away from the airport.
Army, Rangers and Police units have arrived at the scene. As per the reports, an emergency has been declared at Jinnah Hospital.
Near to 12 crew members are also said to be present on board.
As the plane crashed to a residential area, several houses there are damaged severely although no causalities among residents are now reported. Available footage of the incident shows smoke rising from the site of the crash.
In addition to this, the narrow lanes in the colony-like area along with the crowds of panic-stricken people made it difficult for the ambulances and other rescue vehicles to reach the spot quickly.
Troops from the Pakistan Army's Quick Reaction Force and Pakistan Rangers Sindh have also arrived at the crash site shortly after to assist the civil administration in relief and rescue efforts.
Rescue efforts on
Pakistan Army's official spokesperson said that military choppers reached the spot and rescue efforts were on.
According to PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez, the airline was receiving information in real time. He said that Air Marshal Arshad Malik was reaching Karachi in two hours to assess the situation.
He also said that an independent institution will carry out an investigation to ascertain the real cause of the crash.
Rescue sources said that 15-20 persons have been helped out from under the rubble. Eight persons have been injured and shifted to a hospital for medical treatment. The body of a 5-year-old and another person was recovered found from the site. "Due to the rush, we are encountering difficulties in carrying out relief operations," said SSP Malir. "People should avoid gathering at the accident site," he added.
Javed Bajwa condoles plane crash
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa condoled over the loss of lives in the plane crash. The army chief directed the provision of full assistance to the civil administration in rescue and relief efforts.
The country has allowed resuming the flight services a few days back after months of suspension of all its services due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The crash comes as Pakistanis across the country are preparing to celebrate the Eid-ul-Fitr marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Meanwhile, PIA CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik said that the pilot, in his last words, had said that there was a technical fault with the aircraft.
The PIA has released a passenger manifest according to which 51 men, 31 women and nine children were aboard the PK-8303 flight.
Horrifying, tragic. An @Official_PIA Airbus A320 has crashed in a residential area in Karachi. There were 107 on board. Had taken off from Lahore, crashed during approach to Jinnah Int'l Airport, Karachi. pic.twitter.com/n7dR9lI99N
— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) May 22, 2020