- Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar had initially reported the death of all the people on board before the information was updated that two people survived.
- Shortly before the crash, the pilot reported technical problems with the plane.
- Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan took to twitter to express his condolences to the victims and their families.
A passenger plane belonging to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plunged into a residential area in southern Pakistan near the metropolis of Karachi, killing 97 people instantly. The Airbus A320 crashed a few minutes before landing, the country’s authorities reported. The health authorities of the Sindh province said that two people had survived the accident.
Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar had initially reported the death of all the people on board before the information was updated that two people survived. At least five houses were destroyed due to the plane crash, said Akhtar.
Following the crash, good samaritans rushed to the scene to help ain the search for survivors. Debris from the destroyed plane, as well as aircraft parts, were scattered across the narrow streets of the densely populated residential area mostly inhabited by the poor.
The injured were pulled out of the rubble of collapsed buildings and rushed to hospital while firefighters struggled to keep out the fires. The densely populated port city of Karachi in southern Pakistan has around 14 million inhabitants. Due to the overcrowding, rescue workers had a difficult time approaching the scene of accident.
The cause of the crash is still unclear. Shortly before the crash, the pilot reported technical problems with the plane. Radio messages indicated a failure of one of the plane’s engines. Eyewitnesses told local television stations that they saw the plane flying around Jinnah Airport before it crashed in the residential area.
The Airbus flight number PK8303 had been en route from the eastern city of Lahore, and it was heading to Karachi, a spokesman for the airline said. According to the information, there were 91 passengers and eight crew members onboard the plane.
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Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan took to twitter to express his condolences to the victims and their families. Khan tweeted:
“Shocked and saddened by the PIA crash. Am in touch with PIA CEO Arshad Malik, who has left for Karachi and with the rescue and relief teams on ground as this is the priority right now. Immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers and condolences go to families of the deceased.”
Many people on board were most likely going to unite with their friends and families to celebrate Eid, the Muslim festival that will be celebrated over the weekend. The aviation group Airbus also expressed its condolences. “Our thoughts are with everyone concerned.”
The Group currently has no confirmed information about the circumstances of the accident. The plane that crashed had been flying with Pakistan International Airlines since 2014, and has been in service since 2004. Airbus said it would provide full technical support to BEA, the French aviation security agency, and the investigative authorities in Pakistan.
The crash occurred just a week after the Pakistani authorities decided to resume domestic air travel. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, international flights to the South Asian country were suspended and they are scheduled to resume operations at the end of the month.