97 killed as plane crashes into residential area near Karachi airport
A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) passenger plane, with an estimated 99 people onboard, crashed in Karachi’s Model Colony near Jinnah International Airport on Friday.
Sindh health officials have said that 97 people have been confirmed dead, while two survived the crash.
PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez said that the A320 Airbus was carrying 91 passengers and 8 crew members from Lahore to Karachi on PK 8303. Eyewitnesses said the Airbus A320 appeared to attempt to land two or three times before crashing in a residential area near the airport
“The aeroplane first hit a mobile tower and crashed over houses,” witness Shakeel Ahmed said near the site, just a few kilometres short of the airport, according to Reuters.
Meeran Yousuf, the media coordinator for the Sindh health minister, confirmed to Dawn.com that two passengers had survived and were brought to hospitals. She identified the survivors as Zubair and Zafar Masood, who is the president of Bank of Punjab.
“Zubair has 35 per cent burns and is being treated at the [Dr Ruth Pfau] Civil Hospital Karachi, while Masood has four fractures and is being treated at the Darul Sehat Hospital,” said Yousuf, adding that both were in stable condition. Moreover, she said that 19 victims had been identified so far.
A third person, who had earlier been identified as a survivor from the plane, was later confirmed to be a resident of the area where the plane crashed. She was among the 11 persons, who were injured when the plane crashed into the residential area, damaging several houses in its wake.
Yusuf said that the majority of the injured were women, as it was time for Friday prayers when the crash occurred. She added that all the injured residents were in stable condition.
Director Programming 24 News Ansar Naqvi was also among the passengers
Footage showed plumes of smoke rising from the site of the crash within the congested residential area. Ambulances and rescue officials arrived at the scene to help residents. Eyewitnesses told DawnNewsTV that the plane was on fire in the air before crashing.
Videos from the crash site obtained by Dawn.com showed bodies buried underneath rubble and residents gathering in streets littered with debris while Rangers and Sindh police carried out rescue operations.
Another video showed Edhi workers and firefighters hosing down the remains of the aircraft and searching for survivors.