Pakistani Flight PK 303 Crashes Into Homes in Karachi, 107 Onboard

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 23, 2020

At least 54 people, including women and children, were killed as a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane with 99 passengers and crew onboard crashed in the southern port city of Karachi on Friday, officials and local media reported.

The plane, an Airbus A320, was about to land when it crashed near Model Colony, a neighbourhood of Karachi about 3.2km (two miles) north-east of Jinnah International Airport.

On his Twitter account, Pakistani Army spokesperson Babar Iftikhar said the army's quick reaction force had arrived at the site.

Fire brigade staff try to put out fire caused by a plane crash in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, May 22, 2020.

"Shocked & saddened by the PIA crash".

"The last we heard from the pilot was that he has some technical problem", Khan said in a video statement.

In 2010, an aircraft operated by private airline Airblue crashed near Islamabad, killing all 152 people on board - the deadliest air disaster in Pakistani history.

The bodies are yet to be identified while the injured are from the neighborhood of Jinnah Garden, where the crash occurred, she said.

A transcript of the pilot's final exchange with air traffic control, according to LiveATC.net, showed he had tried to land, but failed, and was trying to make another attempt.

The pilot replied: "We are returning back, sir, we have lost engines".

There is no official confirmation of the number of survivors, but local media Geo News has said Bank of Punjab (BOP) chief executive Zafar Masud is among "multiple survivors".

The number of casualties is not yet known.

Several houses have been damaged in the area where the aircraft crashed.

"Although the public sector national carrier's administration has been mismanaged for decades, this never reflected the engineering competence", said Burzine Waghmar, a member of the Centre for the Study of Pakistan at SOAS University of London. It had been given permission to land but the pilots chose to abort and go around for a second attempt.

"Am in touch with PIA CEO Arshad Malik, who has left for Karachi & with the rescue & relief teams on the ground as this is the priority right now", Khan wrote. Immediate inquiry will be instituted. "Prayers and condolences go to families of the deceased".

Meeran Yousuf, the media coordinator to the Sindh health minister, told local media that emergency has been declared in all major hospitals of Karachi.

Airworthiness documents showed the Pakistan International Airline (PIA) plane last received a government check on Nov.1, 2019.

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