A passenger plane with 99 passengers and 8 crew members on board crashed into a residential area near the Pakistani city of Karachi, in the south of the country, shortly before landing. The Pakistani aviation authority reports this. It is an Airbus A320 of Pakistan International Airlines on its way from the eastern city of Lahore to Karachi. The cause of the crash is not yet clear. A number of houses were also damaged in the crash. The area has been cordoned off by police and paramilitaries. A rescue operation is underway. Pakistani TV channel Geo shows images of the place, a densely populated area. A thick black cloud of smoke can be seen above the scene of the accident.
Rescuers search the wreckage and have recovered a dozen bodies to date, according to a spokesman for the civil aviation authority, Ismail Khosa. Two survivors have already been found. One of the two survivors is the head of a commercial bank. Prime Minister of Sind Province, Murad Ali Shah, spoke to him at the hospital, saying his condition is stable. Airline Pakistan International Airlines thinks there may still be survivors.
The mayor of Karachi said earlier that there would be “no survivors” among the people on the plane, but this has yet to be confirmed. “We have salvaged 40 bodies so far,” said Major Mohammad Mansoor of the Pakistani Rangers, a paramilitary unit. It is a preliminary balance.
Pakistani TV channel Geo shows images of the place, a densely populated area. The neighborhood is called “Model Colony”, and is 2 km from the runway. A thick black cloud of smoke can be seen above the scene of the accident.
The control tower had asked the pilot to land, but he replied that the plane had a technical problem, said a chief of Pakistan International Airlines. “We will know the exact problems after research.”
Domestic flights in Pakistan had only resumed a few days ago. International flights to and from Pakistan would not resume until the end of this month.
It is the second time in less than four years that the Pakistani airline has experienced a crash. At the end of 2016, the president of the company resigned, shortly after an airplane with 47 people on board crashed in the mountainous north of the country.