66 dead in Pakistan plane crash

66 dead in Pakistan plane crash
Volunteers look for survivors of a plane that crashed in residential area of Karachi, Pakistan on Friday. (AP)
KARACHI, MAY 22 | Publish Date: 5/22/2020 1:05:49 PM IST

President of the Bank of Punjab among 2 survivors

At least 66 people were killed when a Pakistan International Airlines plane with 99 people on board crashed into a densely populated residential area near the Jinnah International Airport here on Friday, officials said. Flight PK-8303 from Lahore was about to land in Karachi when it crashed at the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir, minutes before its landing, they said.

The PIA Airbus A320 carrying 91 passengers and eight crew members has crash-landed into the Jinnah Housing Society located near the airport, a spokesperson of the national carrier said. Thick black smoke rose from the accident scene of devastation in the Model Colony area. Earlier, a PIA spokesperson and many media reports said that there were 107 people on board the aircraft. Sindh health officials said 66 dead bodies have been recovered from the crash site.

It is, however, unclear if the deceased were all on board the flight or include residents of the area as well where the crash took place. 

Sindh Health Minister Azra Pechuho said there are two survivors including President of the Bank of Punjab Zafar Masood. He called up his mother to inform her of his well-being.

Faisal Edhi of the Edhi Welfare Trust said that around 25 to 30 residents whose houses were damaged by the plane have also been taken to the hospital, mostly with burn wounds.

The aircraft wings during the crash landing hit the houses in the residential colony before crashing down. “At least 25 houses have been damaged in this incident,” Edhi said. According to a PIA official, the captain informed the air traffic control that he was having problems with the landing gear before the aircraft disappeared from the radar. Thick black smoke rose from a scene of devastation in the Model Colony area.

Television footage showed rescue crews combing through debris strewn across the streets of the district where a number of houses have been destroyed. The cause of the crash is yet to be confirmed. PIA chief executive Arshad Malik said the pilot had told traffic control that the plane was experiencing “technical difficulties”.


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