Prime News, International (Karachi), May 22:- At least 34 people have died when a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane with 99 people on board crashed into a densely populated residential area near the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi on Friday.
Flight PK-8303 from Lahore was about to land in Karachi when it crashed at the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir, just a minute before its landing.
The PIA Airbus A320 carrying 91 passengers and eight crew members crashed landed into Modern Colony near the airport, a spokesperson of the state carrier said.
Sindh Health Minister Azra Pechuho said that 34 bodies have so far been shifted to hospitals. “So far 19 bodies were shifted to Jinnah hospital and 15 to Civil hospital,” she said. There are at least four survivors of the crash.
As per the local media reports, the aircraft had lost both its engines. Eyewitnesses said the engines were on fire. The aircraft’s tail hit a four-storey building in Jinnah Garden area of Model Colony that borders the airport runways. The visuals on the local media show a huge plume of smoke coming out from some houses in Karachi’s Model colony.
While 34 people have been confirmed dead in the incident, at least four have been pulled out alive from under the debris. Bank of Punjab President Zafar Masood, who was a Premium Economy passenger, on the flight has survived. He is in hospital and spoke to his mother over the phone. The CEO fo Pak PSU Urban Unit, Khalid Sherdil, was also among the passengers and has survived the crash.
A media channel in Pakistan has confirmed that one of its senior staff members Ansar Naqvi has lost his life in the crash.
Saad Edhi, a spokesperson of the Edhi welfare trust, said that around 25 to 30 residents whose houses were damaged by the plane have also been taken to the hospital, mostly with burn wounds.
“The first priority is to rescue people. The main hurdle is narrow streets and the presence of ordinary people who gathered at the place after the crash but they have been dispersed,” the minister said. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).