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Pakistan International Airlines flight with 99 onboard crashes before landing at Karachi Airport
Screengrab from video

Pakistan International Airlines flight with 99 onboard crashes before landing at Karachi Airport

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 22 May 2020, 02:26 pm

Karachi/IBNS: A Pakistani aircraft with 91 passengers and eight crew members crashed near the Karachi Airport just minutes before it was about to land there on Friday afternoon.

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-8303, from Lahore, crashed in a densely populated residential area - Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir - just a few minutes away from the Jinnah International Airport.

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez told Pakistan's that the A320 Airbus was carrying 91 passengers and 8 crew members from Lahore to Karachi on PK 8303.

The number of casualties is yet to be ascertained. However, reports said few passengers have survived the aircrash.

Bank of Punjab President Zafar Masud, who was onboard, survived the crash with minor injuries. He has been shifted to a local hospital.

In the final moments, the pilots reportedly told the Air Traffic Controller that they had lost both the engines, before sending the international distress message, "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday".

This comes after Pakistan resumed its commercial flights' service after days of halting the same due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As per visuals from Pakistani media, several nearby houses were engulfed in fire due to the crash.

Plumes of smoke could be seen billowing into the sky. As many as 25 residents of the area have been injured and were taken to the hospitals.

Expressing shock, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that an immediate enquiry will be initiated to find the cause of the crash.

"Shocked & saddened by the PIA crash. Am in touch with PIA CEO Arshad Malik, who has left for Karachi & with the rescue & relief teams on ground as this is the priority right now. Immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers & condolences go to families of the deceased," he tweeted.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed grief over the loss of lives in the aircrash.

"Deeply saddened by the loss of life due to a plane crash in Pakistan. Our condolences to the families of the deceased, and wishing speedy recovery to those injured," he tweeted.

According to Pakistani media, the relief works by Pak Army Quick Reaction Force and Pakistan Rangers were much hindered due to the presence of a large crowd and narrow lanes.

It takes a flight 2 hours to cover the 1,020 km distance between Karachi and Lahore.