At least 67 killed as PIA plane with 99 onboard crashes near Karachi airport

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At least 67 killed as PIA plane with 99 onboard crashes near Karachi airport
Rescue workers spray water on the part of a Pakistan International Airlines aircraft after it crashed at a residential area in Karachi on May 22, 2020. - A Pakistan passenger plane with more than 100 people believed to be on board crashed in the southern city of Karachi on May 22, the country's aviation authority said. (Photo by Asif HASSAN / AFP)

KARACHI: At least 67 people were killed as a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) passenger plane, with an estimated 99 people onboard, crashed in Karachi’s Model Colony near Jinnah International Airport on Friday.
Sindh health officials have said that so far, 67 people have been confirmed dead. It is, however, unclear if the deceased were all onboard the flight or include area residents as well where the crash took place. Two people are confirmed to have survived the crash, according to officials.
PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez said that the A320 Airbus was carrying 91 passengers and 8 crew members from Lahore to Karachi on PK 8303. Eyewitnesses said the Airbus A320 appeared to attempt to land two or three times before crashing in a residential area near the airport.
“The aeroplane first hit a mobile tower and crashed over houses,” witness Shakeel Ahmed said near the site, just a few kilometres short of the airport, according to Reuters.
Meeran Yousuf, the media coordinator for the Sindh health minister, confirmed that two passengers had survived and were brought to hospitals. She identified the survivors as Zubair and Zafar Masood, who is the president of Bank of Punjab.
“Zubair has 35 per cent burns and is being treated at the [Dr Ruth Pfau] Civil Hospital Karachi, while Masood has four fractures and is being treated at the Darul Sehat Hospital,” said Yousuf, adding that both were in stable condition. Moreover, she added that five victims had been identified so far.
A third person, who had earlier been identified as a survivor from the plane, was later identified to be a resident of the area where the plane crashed.
Director Programming 24 News Ansar Naqvi was also among the passengers.
To inquire about the plane crash incident or passenger details, you may contact 02199242284, 02199043766, 02199043833.
Footage showed plumes of smoke rising from the site of the crash within the congested residential area. Ambulances and rescue officials arrived at the scene to help residents.
According to eyewitnesses, the plane crashed hardly a few hundred feet away from the runway. A transmission of the pilot’s final exchange with air traffic control, posted on the website LiveATC.net, indicated he had failed to land and was circling around to make another attempt, reported AP.
“We are proceeding direct, sir — we have lost engine,” a pilot can be heard saying.
“Confirm your attempt on belly,” the air traffic controller said, offering a runway.
“Sir – mayday, mayday, mayday, mayday Pakistan 8303,” the pilot said before the transmission ended.
PIA Chief Executive Officer Air Marshal Arshad Malik, who left for Karachi, said the pilot told the control room that there was a technical issue and he decided to go around rather than land even though two runways were ready for landing.
“Our crew is trained to handle emergency landings. All my prayers are with the families. We will continue to provide information in a transparent manner,” said the spokesperson, Hafeez. …Agencies

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