At least 3 survive as PIA flight crashes in Karachi
Pilot talked of lost engine, gave Mayday distress call seconds before the tragedy
karachi — A jetliner carrying 98 people crashed on Friday in a crowded neighbourhood near the airport in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi after an apparent engine failure during landing. Officials said there were at least three survivors from the plane, and it was unknown how many people on the ground were injured, with at least five houses destroyed.
The pilot of Pakistan International Airlines Flight 8303 was heard transmitting a mayday to the tower shortly before the crash of the Airbus
A320, which was flying from Lahore to Karachi. Video on social media appeared to show the jet flying low over a residential area with flames shooting from one of its engines.
The plane came to rest about 2.39pm in a narrow alley in the congested residential area known as Model Colony between houses smashed by its wings. Police in protective masks struggled to clear away crowds amid the smoke and dust so ambulances and fire trucks could move through the alley.
Three passengers survived, said Meeran Yousaf, Sindh Health Department spokeswoman. Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar initially said all aboard died, but two civil aviation officials later said that at least two people survived. Local TV stations reported that three people sitting in the front row of the aircraft survived and showed video of a man on a stretcher they identified as Zafar Masood, the head of the Bank of Punjab. —
Shocked & saddened by the PIA crash. Am in touch with PIA CEO Arshad Malik, who has left for Karachi & with the rescue & relief teams on ground as this is the priority right now. Imran Khan @ImranKhanPTI
karachi — A PIA plane with 99 people on board crashed into a residential area in Karachi on Friday, killing several people on the ground.
The plane was close to landing when it came down among houses, sparking an explosion and sending plumes of smoke into the air that could be seen from some distance away.
At least 41 people are confirmed to have been killed in the plane crash, Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) chief executive said. “Forty-one dead are confirmed in the plane crash,” CEO Arshad Malik told a news conference.
He said Pakistan’s independent safety investigations agency would inquire into the crash.
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.
“We are proceeding direct, sir — we have lost engine,” a pilot said. “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.
Video on social media appeared to show the jet flying low over a residential area with flames shooting from one of its engines. The plane came to rest about 2.39pm in a narrow alley in the congested residential area known as Model Colony between houses smashed by its wings.
Seemin Jamali, a director from the Jinnah Post Graduate Medical College in the city, said eight dead and 15 injured people had been brought to the facility. “They were all from the ground, no (plane) passengers have been brought here,” she said.
Rescue workers and local residents pulled people from the debris, as firefighters tried to extinguish the flames. A reporter witnessed charred bodies being loaded into ambulances.
Local TV stations reported that at least 11 bodies were recovered from the crash site and six people were injured. It was not immediately clear if the casualties were passengers.
Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar said at least five or six houses were destroyed in the crash.
Residents near the scene said their walls shook before a big explosion erupted as the plane slammed into their neighbourhood.
“I was coming from the mosque when I saw the plane tilting on one side. The engines’ sounds were quite weird. It was so low that the walls of my house were trembling,” said 14-year-old witness Hassan.
Another resident Mudassar Ali said he “heard a big bang and woke up to people calling for the fire brigade”.
The crash happened on the eve of the Eid Al Fitr, when most people travel to visit relatives.
“The aeroplane first hit a mobile tower and crashed over houses,” witness Shakeel Ahmed said near the site, a few kilometres short of the airport.
Interior Minister Ijaz Ahmad Shah said the plane had developed a technical fault and that the pilot had said the craft had lost an engine and issued a mayday call. —
TRAGIC FLIGHT: Firefighters spray water on the wreckage of the PIA aircraft after it crashed into a residential area of Karachi on Friday.
SEARCH FOR SURvIvORS: volunteers look for survivors of the plane that crashed in Karachi on Friday. —
WIDESPREAD DEStRUCtION: the wreckage of cars scattered after the plane crash in Model Colony. —
RESCUE WORK: volunteers carry an injured person at the site of the plane crash. —