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97 feared dead in Pakistan plane crash; PM Imran Khan expresses grief

The Statesman 2020-05-23 00:00:00

The aircraft wings during the crash landing hit the houses in the residential colony before crashing down.

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane crashed in a residential area in Karachi near the city's Jinnah International Airport (Photo: IANS)

Ninety-seven people were killed and two survived after a passenger plane crashed into a densely populated residential area near the Jinnah International Airport, according to the health officials on Saturday.

Flight PK-8303 from Lahore crashed at the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir minutes before its landing in Karachi, the officils further said.

All passengers and crew have been accounted for and the bodies of those killed were recovered from the crash site, the Sindh Health Ministry said, adding to that only 19 bodies have been identified so far.

However, it was not clear if the deceased were all on board the flight or include residents of the area where the crash took place.

There are two survivors including President of the Bank of Punjab Zafar Masood, the health ministry added.

The site remained cordoned off in the early hours of day.

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.

The plane with 99 people on board came for landing but just before landing the pilot said he was going for a go-around. While coming for a second landing, it developed some problems and crashed.

“The real cause of the mishap will be known after inquiry, which will be free and fair and it will be provided with media,” he said.

Meanwhile, President Arif Alvi expressed his grief and sorrow over the loss of lives in the plane crash.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, while expressing deep sorrow over the loss of precious lives as a result of the PIA passenger plane crash in Karachi, has ordered an immediate inquiry into the incident.

Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa also condoled the loss of lives and directed the military to provide full assistance to the civil administration in rescue and relief efforts.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives in the plane crash and wished a speedy recovery to those injured.

The flight was coming from Lahore to Karachi after the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) allowed limited resumption of domestic flights last Saturday following weeks of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The disaster comes as Pakistanis prepare to celebrate the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, with many travelling back to their homes in cities and villages.

Last year, in June, seventeen people were killed after a small military plane crashed into a residential area in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi.

In 2016, a Pakistan International Airlines plane burst into flames after one of its two turboprop engines failed while travelling from remote northern Pakistan to Islamabad that killed more than 40 people.

The deadliest air disaster on Pakistani soil was in 2010 when an Airbus 321 operated by private airline Airblue and flying from Karachi crashed into the hills outside Islamabad while coming into land and left all 152 on board dead.