Pakistan International Airlines plane has crashed in Karachi on a flight from Lahore, aviation officials say. Pictures shared on social media show smoke rising from the crash site, a residential area in Karachi.
The plane, which was reportedly carrying around 99 passengers and eight crew, was flying from Lahore to Jinnah International Airport, one of Pakistan’s busiest airports. Emergency services have arrived at the scene, where homes have been damaged.
“The plane crashed in Karachi. We are trying to confirm the number of passengers but initially it is 99 passengers and eight crew members,” said Abdul Sattar Khokhar, the spokesman for Pakistan’s aviation authority.
The plane was about to land when it crashed near Model Colony, a neighborhood of Karachi about 3.2km (two miles) north-east of Jinnah International Airport. The disturbing visuals from the site of the plane crash have been shared on social media sites.
— Khurram Ansari (@khurram143) May 22, 2020
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed his sadness over the tragic Pakistan International Airlines plane crash in Karachi on Friday. In a tweet posted after the crash, the premier said he was shocked and saddened to hear about the crash. He has called for an immediate inquiry into the tragic incident.
“Shocked & saddened by the PIA crash. I am in touch with PIA CEO Arshad Malik, who has left for Karachi & with the rescue & relief teams on the ground as this is the priority right now. Immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers & condolences go to families of the deceased,” PM Imran Khan tweeted.
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.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) May 22, 2020
Meanwhile, another post from Pakistani Anchorperson Ghareeda Farooqi shows a kid being rescued out of the #PlaneCrash site by Pakistan Rangers.
A young kid being rescued out of the #PlaneCrash site by Pakistan Rangers Sindh Troops 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼
Hope and prayers for safety of others too 🙏🏼🙏🏼
Army QRF and Pak Rangers Sindh troops had immediately reached for relief/rescue alongside civil admin #Airbus320 #PK8303 pic.twitter.com/MWO7VJ7I2G
— Gharidah Farooqi (@GFarooqi) May 22, 2020
Pakistan has a chequered aviation safety record with a number of airliner crashes. There have been three major passenger plane crashes in Pakistan killing hundreds of people on board within the period of just the past few years. In 2010, an aircraft from Airblue crashed near Islamabad, killing all 152 people on board. A Boeing 737-200 crashed in Rawalpindi in 2012 killing more than a hundred and ten passengers on board.
The latest of the plane crash happened in 2016 that killed 47 people including the famous media person Junaid Jamshaid and his wife. PIA aircraft ATR42-500 (PK-661) was flying to Islamabad from Chitral. It crashed into the mountains near Havelian tehsil of Abbottabad.
The Safety Investigation Board that was tasked with a probe into the 2016 crash held PIA responsible for the crash. The SIB found that ‘lapse’ on the part of the Pakistan International Airlines and a ‘lack of oversight’ by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) may have led to the untoward incident.