A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aircraft crashed in Karachi on Friday, May 22. The crash happened shortly before the landing. The aircraft, A320, reportedly had 107 passengers on board. at least two passengers, including a top banker, have survived miraculously, media reports said.
According to a report in Geo News, Bank of Punjab Chief Executive Officer Zafar Masud and another passenger survived with relatively minor injuries after the plane crashed in a residential area near the Karachi Airport.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah inquired after the health of banker Zafar Masud, who miraculously survived, a provincial government spokesman Abdur Rashid Channa said in a statement.
He does not have any burn and scratch marks on his body. Masud's brother is with him in the hospital. Masud was among the 98 passengers travelling in the PIA Airbus A-320. After Masud was rescued, he was rushed to Darul Sehat Hospital where the doctors said he was out of danger.
The media report said that Masud has sustained fractures to his hip and collar bones and there are no burn marks on his body.
Miraculous Escape: President of Bank of Punjab Zafar Masud survives the plane crash in Karachi, Pakistan. Shifted to a local hospital. Reports coming in that few others have survived the tragic accident as well. pic.twitter.com/XCYdsZDwGG
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) May 22, 2020
'There was 'smoke everywhere'
Another survivor, Zubair, also sustained minor injuries and is currently undergoing treatment at a hospital. He said that the plane started jolting before landing. "The next moment there was a hard crash and I lost consciousness," Zubair was quoted as saying. He added that when he woke up there was 'smoke everywhere'.
محکمہ صحٹ سندھ کے ترجمان کے مطابق طیارہ حادثے میں زندہ بچ جانے والے دوسرے مسافر زبیر نے اردو نیوز سے گفتگو میں حادثے کا آنکھوں دیکھا احوال بتایا۔۔۔تفصیل دیکھیے اس ویڈیو میں#KarachiAirCrash #karachicrash pic.twitter.com/8vJ7sRV71f — Urdu News (@UrduNewsCom) May 22, 2020
The crash comes just days after Pakistan began allowing commercial flights to resume service after planes were grounded due to the lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic.
According to an eyewitness, "The plane first hit a mobile tower and crashed over houses. One of the wings had hit a minaret before the crash."
Before the pilot made the mayday distress call, Air Traffic Control was informed by the pilot of the Pakistan International Airlines flight that he was facing problems with the plane's engines. The pilot told controllers at the Karachi airport ATC that he had "lost engine."
What could've gone wrong?
Captain Amit Singh, Fellow, Royal Aeronautical Society, UK and Former Head Airline Operations Safety, told the International Business Times, India, in a statement that, "The crew probably faced a dual engine failure situation. The first approach was discontinued from a low height. The aircraft turned back to make a second attempt when the engines could have failed. They attempted to fly via the shortest route to reach the runway but crashed very close to the airport."
According to some tweets posted by flyers, "Suspected engine flameout/damage must have been due to multiple bird hits and this may explain the loss of thrust on both engines theory. Let's wait for the official version."
PIA Chief Executive Officer Air Marshal Arshad Malik while talking about the crash said that the pilot told the control room that there were some technical issues. The ATC told the pilot that two runways were ready for landing but the pilot however decided to go around rather than landing.
Below is the last conversation that happened between the pilot of the crashed PIA plane and the ATC. This might be some part of it and might not be the full conversation.
Nothing came after that as the plane must have crashed or lost connection with the ATC.
Giving another insight on fuel tank contamination and how it impacts engine failure, Amit further added that after a period of storage, the regulator/engineers must ensure that water sediments and microbial growth do not pose a threat of engine failure.