A passenger plane with 107 people on board yesterday crashed in a crowded neighborhood on the edge of the international airport near Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi after what appeared to be an engine failure during landing.
Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar said that at least five or six houses were destroyed in the crash of the domestic flight operated by Pakistan International Airlines.
He said that 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 the 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 Bank of Punjab chief executive Zafar Masood.
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 struggled to clear away crowds to allow a firetruck and an ambulance to move through the narrow streets toward the crash site.
A transmission of the pilot’s final exchange with air traffic control, posted on the LiveATC.net Web site, indicated that he had failed to land and was circling around to make another attempt.
“We are proceeding direct, sir — we have lost engine,” a pilot said.
“Confirm your attempt on belly,” the air traffic controller said, offering a runway.
“Sir — Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, Mayday Pakistan 8303,” the pilot said before the transmission ended.
The aircraft from Lahore was carrying 99 passengers and eight crew members, Pakistani Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Abdul Sattar Kokhar said.
Pakistan had resumed domestic flights earlier this week ahead of the Eid-al Fitr holiday after a nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of COVID-19.
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