Jet crashes moments before landing at airport in Karachi
ISLAMABAD : A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Airbus A-320, on a flight originating from Lahore, crashed into a densely populated Karachi neighbourhood near the airport on Friday afternoon and erupted into a fireball, killing most of the 107 passengers and crew on board, but leaving at least two confirmed survivors.
Rescue workers scoured the wreckage of the aircraft and sifted through gutted and damaged buildings in the neighbourhood looking for more likely survivors or bodies, including of residents who may have perished.
The aircraft, which made two approaches ahead of landing, initially reported a problem with its landing gear.
On its second approach, the pilot informed air traffic control that the plane’s engines had failed.
He then gave the distress “Mayday” call as the aircraft veered off its flight path and descended rapidly into the Model Colony neighbourhood before crashing, as seen on video footage shared by a person who captured it using his cellphone.
As the plane crashed into a row of houses, it erupted into a fireball that may have killed residents of the area. “We are now focusing on rescue efforts so we don’t know the exact death toll,” said provincial minister of Sindh Nasir Shah. Shah said that at this stage it was difficult to determine who may have been on board the plane or who may have been a resident of the area.
By 8pm, at least 40 people were confirmed dead.
Rescue workers look for survivors at the site of the plane crash in Karachi on Friday.