Passenger plane crashes on buildings in Pakistan

by Akeem Alao
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A passenger plane with nearly 100 people on board has crashed in a residential area in the Pakistani city of Karachi.

This was disclosed on Friday May 22, 2020 by the country’s civil aviation agency.

The Pakistan International Airlines plane was about to land at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport when the accident occurred.

The plane came down among houses, sending plumes of smoke into the air that could be seen from some distance away.

PIA spokesman, Abdullah Hafeez, said there were 91 passengers and seven crew on board the flight, which lost contact with air traffic control just after 2:30pm (09:30 GMT).

“It is too early to comment on the cause of the crash,” he told AFP news agency.

Abdul Sattar Khokhar, the spokesman for the country’s aviation authority, said the Airbus A320 was travelling from Lahore to Karachi, the country’s largest city.

The Pakistan military said security forces had been deployed to the area and helicopters were being used to survey the damage and help in the ongoing rescue operations.

“Our plane A320 which was coming from Lahore to Karachi … the last words for the pilot were that there is a technical problem and he was told on final approach that he has both runways available to him.

“But the pilot indicated that he wanted to go around,” PIA CEO Arshad Malik said in a video message released after the crash.

Sindh provincial health minister, Azra Pechucho, stated at least 11 bodies and six wounded people had been taken to Karachi’s main government hospital but it was unclear if they were passengers or people on the ground.

“Eleven dead bodies have been brought here and six wounded have been brought here.

“Of the six wounded, four are stable and two are burned cases, she said.

“We are doing DNA testing of the dead bodies so that they can be identified and they can be given to their families,” she added.

Images on national television showed plumes of smoke above congested residential apartment buildings, with fire trucks en route to the scene of the crash.

Television footage from the scene showed a number of ambulances unable to make progress in the narrow lanes of the residential neighbourhood where the crash took place, as people crowded in towards the site.

Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan, said he was “shocked and saddened” by the crash, tweeting that he was in touch with the state airline’s chief executive.

“Prayers and condolences go to families of the deceased,” said Khan.

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