Bodies Pulled from Rubble After Deadly Karachi Plane Crash Kills 107

Date: 2020-05-22 15:52:44

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A passenger plane with 107 people on board crashed in a crowded neighborhood on the edge of the international airport near Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi on Friday after what appeared to be an engine failure during landing.

Mayor Wasim Akhtar said at least five or six houses were destroyed in the crash of the domestic flight operated by Pakistan International Airlines.

He said all those on board died, but two civil aviation officials later said that at least two people survived the crash. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media.

Local TV stations reported that three people sitting in the front row of the aircraft survived and aired footage of a man on a stretcher they identified as Zafar Masood, the head of the Bank of Punjab.

They reported that at least 11 bodies were recovered from the crash site and six people were injured. It was not immediately clear if the casualties were passengers.

Police wearing protective masks struggled to clear away crowds to allow a firetruck and an ambulance to move through the narrow streets toward the crash site, the air filled with dust and smoke. Police and soldiers cordoned off the area.

The aircraft arriving from the eastern city of Lahore was carrying 99 passengers and eight crew members, said Abdul Sattar Kokhar, spokesman Pakistan’s civil aviation authority.

Pakistan had resumed domestic flights earlier this week ahead of the Eid-al Fitr holiday marking the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan. Pakistan has been in a countrywide lockdown since mid-March to try to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Witnesses said the Airbus A320 appeared to attempt to land two or three times before crashing in a residential area near Jinnah International Airport. The residential area on the edge of the airport, known as Model Colony, is poor and heavily congested.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted: “Shocked & saddened by the PIA crash… Immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers & condolences go to families of the deceased.”

Airbus did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the crash. The flight from the northeastern city of Lahore typically lasts about an hour and a half.

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