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A PIA plane crashed in Karachi’s Model Colony Friday afternoon.
The plane was traveling from Lahore to Karachi. There were a total of 107 people on board, 99 passengers and eight crew members.
The black box of the aircraft has been found, according to the Civil Aviation Authority. It would be sent to the manufacturer for decoding. The process could take up to weeks.
By 5:22pm news emerged of 17 bodies taken to JPMC. According to Dr Seemin Jamali, executive director and head of Emergency Services, six injured residents of the colony have been brought in. Two have burn injuries, the rest are stable, she said. Space then ran out at the JPMC morgue.
A fire had broken out with the crash. By approximately 4:30pm the blaze was put out. Tankers were sent by the water board. Ambulances have arrived as well.
Zafar Mehmood, the president of Bank of Punjab, survived the crash. He was taken to Combined Military Hospital, Malir. Other people have been taken there as well. It is being said that two passengers who were in the first row of seats may have also survived. However, this is unconfirmed news.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah inquired after Mehmood at a private hospital, where he was taken soon after the crash. The Bank of Punjab president was said to be in a stable condition. The chief minister directed officials extend all-possible assistance to residents whose houses were damaged in the crash.
The plane was about to land at the Karachi airport. The flight number is PK-8303. The aviation division has confirmed the crash and said it was an A-320. The PIA CEO said the pilot’s last message was that there was a technical fault. He was told that the two runways were ready. He wanted to turn around. CEO Arshad Malik is on the way to Karachi and will visit the crash site.
At 2:34pm the plane was at a height of 275ft when it decided to land. But then it went up again. At 2:40pm, when the height was at 525ft, the connection with the plane was lost. Aviation expert Zafar Iqbal said: It’s suspected that there was structural damage to the place. It might have been a bird or something else.
It hit six houses while crashing. Electricity has been cut off in the area. The plane crashed in Model Colony near Malir Cantt Gate 2.
The plane was not flying at a great height as it was preparing to land. It hit the houses, causing their roofs to collapse. According to the Aviation Division, the pilot had given an emergency signal to the airport.
According to reports a woman and child have been injured in the crash. There is no news so far of other injuries. An emergency has been declared at the airport. Charred bodies were being retrieved, according to NEWSBOX reporter Khursheed Alam at 4:30pm.
The police and Rangers were trying to move people away so they can rescue people. So far, the fire is still raging. Army Quick Reaction Force have also reached the crash site.
Army Aviation helicopters had been flown for damage assessment and rescue efforts, according ISPR DG Major General Babar Iftikhar. Urban Search & Rescue Teams were also dispatched to the site for rescue efforts.
Update #PIA Incident:
Army Quick Reaction Force & Pakistan Rangers Sindh troops reached incident site for relief and rescue efforts alongside civil administration.
Details to follow.
— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) May 22, 2020
PIA Spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez only confirmed that the plane had crashed. He said they will hold a press conference soon to share details.
According to Murtaza Wahab, the commissioner of Karachi has been instructed to start relief in the affected area. He has requested residents of the area to let the officials do their job. He says an emergency has been declared at all government hospitals.
A senior journalist is believed to have been among the passengers. PTI Amir Liaquat has reached the site for help. Adjoining houses are also being vacated. Streets of the area have been cordoned off. Nobody is allowed to enter.
One person tweeted that a close relative was aboard and had survived.
A close relative was on the flight from Lahore that crashed. There are survivors — he is one.
— Zainab Imam (@zainabimam) May 22, 2020
PM Imran Khan expressed grief over the incident. He has ordered relief operations in the area to be conducted.
The fire has been reportedly put off but there’s a lot of smoke. Security and rescue teams are trying to vacate the lanes. Another child has been rescued from under the debris of the houses.
Flight operations at Karachi airport have been restored.
An army medical corps team has reached the site with ambulances. Only registered workers and army teams are allowed to enter the cordoned off area. No residents are being allowed as the site has to be examined forensically as well. The service road leading to the lanes has also been sealed.
Rescue people say it will take 24 to 48 hours to complete the operation. Fifteen houses have been damaged. A wall had to be broken to remove the bodies.