Pakistan plane crash: Lahore-Karachi plane with 99 onboard crashes in residential area near Karachi airport

Pakistan plane crash: A Pakistani flight carrying around 100 passengers has crashed over a residential colony near Karachi airport.

A Pakistan International Airlines flight, going from Lahore to Karachi, has crashed moments before the landing The aircraft was carrying around 100 passengers. The PIA plane crashed over a residential colony near the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. The extent of damage or loss of life is still unknown. The loss of life in the residential colony is also probable.

PIA spokesperson Abdul Sattar has confirmed the crash. The PIA flight PK 8303 was carrying 91 passengers and 8 crew members.

No information has been made available of the survivors as yet. “Saying anything right now would be premature. 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,” PIA spokesperson said.

The visuals on the local media show a huge plume of smoke coming out from some houses in Karachi’s Model colony.

A media channel in Pakistan has confirmed that one of its senior staff members Ansar Naqvi has lost his life in the crash.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted: “Shocked & saddened by the PIA crash. . . Immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers & condolences go to families of the deceased.”

Pakistan’s Minister of Health & Population Welfare has declared an emergency in all major hospitals of Karachi due to the plane crash, local media has reported.

Pakistan had resumed commercial passenger air travel on May 16 after a prolonged nationwide lockdown due to Covid-19 outbreak.

Relief operations

Ambulances, fire tenders and relief teams have reached the site of the crash, however, a large crowd gathered at the crash site is causing difficulties for the rescue workers. Pakistan’s armed forces have also put out a statement saying that their teams are on the spot. “Army Quick Reaction Force & Pakistan Rangers Sindh troops reached the incident site for relief and rescue efforts alongside civil administration. Details to follow,” DG ISPR, Pakistan Army’s spokesperson tweeted.

“Pak Army Aviation helicopters flown for damage assessment and rescue efforts. Urban Search & Rescue Teams are being sent on-site for rescue efforts,” it also said.A senior Pakistani bureaucrat has said PM Imran Khan has directed all emergency services to mobilised to manage the tragedy. “Our heart goes out to all families of onboard passengers of the ill-fated PIA plane that just crashed close to Karachi Airport. On PM’s directions, all emergency services and resources mobilised, evacuation in progress,” Asim Saleem Bajwa said.

Site of the accident

The PIA flight PK 8303 crashed over Model Colony in the Jinnah Garden area, which is at the stone-throw away from the Karachi airport.

The majority of residents of the colony are the people, who migrated from India in 1947 during partition. As per the local journalists, India Today TV spoke to, most of these people or their ancestors had come from Uttar Pradesh or Bihar. It is a well inhabited and developed colony, they said.

Possible cause of crash

The PIA flight PK 8303 had taken off from Lahore at 1 pm and was supposed to land at Karachi airport at 2:45 when the crash took place.

PIA CEO Air Vice Marshal Arshad Malik says that the pilot of PK8303 had told ATC that the plane was experiencing “technical difficulties” – both runways were available for landing but the pilot did a go-aroun. He said that a probe will be conducted to find out what exactly happened.

Witnesses told Associated Press that the Airbus A320 appeared to attempt to land two or three times before crashing in a residential area near Jinnah International Airport.

A senior civil aviation official told Reuters it appeared the plane was unable to open its wheels due to a technical fault prior to landing, but it was to early to determine the cause.

As per the data released by FlightRadar, a flight monitoring site, PIA flight PK 8303 took off from Lahore 1:05 PM (Pak timing). At 2:34 PM, the aircraft made a landing attempt that was aborted at 275 feet and the aircraft climbed up to 3175 feet. Signal was lost at 02:40 at 525 feet.

Past crashes of PIA

Pakistan has a chequered military and civilian aviation safety record, with frequent plane and helicopter crashes over the years.

In 2016, a Pakistan International Airlines plane burst into flames after one of its two turboprop engines failed while flying from the remote northern to Islamabad, killing more than 40 people.

PIA, one of the world’s leading airlines until the 1970s, now suffers from a sinking reputation due to frequent cancellations, delays and financial troubles. It has been involved in numerous controversies over the years, including the jailing of a drunk pilot in Britain in 2013.

The crash comes as Pakistanis across the country are preparing to celebrate the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, with many travelling back to their homes in cities and villages.

Source: India Today

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