PIA passenger plane crashes in Karachi, casualties feared

KARACHI: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight, on its way from Lahore to Karachi, crashed in the  vicinity of Jinnah International Airport on Friday, according to Civil Aviation Authority sources.

PIA sources informed that 98 people were aboard the plane, including 91 passengers and seven flight crew.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority, PIA flight PK-8303 from Lahore was about to land in Karachi when it crashed in the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir.

The plane reportedly developed a problem with its landing gear, which led to the unfortunate accident. CAA sources said that its communication was cut off with the plane a minute before it was supposed to land.

The captain of the plane made a Mayday call just before the crash, and according to the audio played on Geo News, the pilot can be clearly heard saying that the ‘plane lost its engines’.

Troops form the Pakistan Army’s Quick Reaction Force and Pakistan Rangers Sindh arrived at the crash site shortly after to assist the civil administration in relief and rescue efforts.

Rescue officials are reportedly facing dificulty in rescue operations as  the streets are narrow and a huge crowd has gathered near the site of the incident.

Several houses were damaged in the area where the plane crashed.

Black smoke could be seen from afar at the crash site.

‘Too early to point out cause of crash’

PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez said that said that the airline was receiving information in real time. He said that Air Marshal Arshad Malik was reaching Karachi in two hours to assess the situation.

He said that it was premature to point out any technical fault in the plane and an independent institution will carry out an investigation to ascertain the cause of the crash.

Hafeez said that the PIA would hold a detailed press conference to share the details of the crash soon.

Rescue sources said that 15-20 persons have been recovered from the crash site. The body of a 5-year-old was also found from the site. “Due to the rush, we are encountering difficulties in carrying out relief operations,” said SSP Malir. “People should avoid gathering at the accident site,” he added.

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