A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aircraft, flying from Lahore to Karachi, crashed near the port city's airport in the densely populated area of Model Colony on Friday.
PIA flight PK8303 had 99 passengers and eight crew members on board during the time of the incident. The crash caused significant damage in the residential area and reportedly destroyed four houses.
'The plane PK 8303 with 99 passengers and 8 crew members has crashed,' said Abdullah Hafeez, a spokesman for the national carrier. The rescue operation in the area is in progress.
Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre's Executive Director Dr. Seemin Jamali has confirmed that 19 bodies and five injured have been brought to the hospital.
PIA's Chief Executive Officer Air Marshal Arshad Malik said, following the crash, that the pilot had informed air traffic control (ATC) that there was a technical issue and the pilot decided to go around rather than land. He added that two runways had been cleared for landing.
Sindh Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah confirmed during a media talk that two passengers had survived and were brought to hospitals in injured condition. Details of other passengers are awaited.
Shah said authorities were in the process of collecting data and that it would be too soon to give a conclusive figure on deaths and injuries.
Saad Edhi, spokesperson of the Edhi Foundation, said they have shifted 35 bodies from the site of the crash to different hospitals. Around 25-30 injured people, who are residents of the area, have also been brought to the hospital, he added. He said nothing concrete could be said about the number of deceased and survivors as of now.
Soon after the crash, Sindh Minister of Health and Population Welfare declared an emergency in all major hospitals of Karachi. Speaking to the media outside Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Sindh Health Minister Dr. Azra Pechuho said that it was still to early to ascertain the number of people that had been injured in the crash.
"Eleven bodies have been brought to the hospital and six injured. Out of the injured, four are stable and two are burns cases." She added that officials were currently in the process of identifying the deceased in order to inform their families.
"We don't know how many are injured and how many are dead. I am visiting hospitals [...] we were already in an emergency situation due to Covid-19 so doctors were alert. We have also alerted surgical units," she said.
According to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), flight PK8303 took off from Lahore airport and was slated to land at Jinnah International airport when it crashed in the residential area, nearly 4km away from the site of incident. Few houses and cars also damaged in the incident, besides injuring number of local residents.
So far, 17 dead bodies have been shifted to Jinnah hospital while 15 deceased were brought to Civil Hospital.
The rescue operation is being conducted jointly by personnel of Pakistan Army, Rangers and civil administration while fire tenders of Pakistan Navy are also at the site. Air Force is also rendering services for the relief and rescue operation in the area.
As per the initial reports, the plane had developed some technical fault before landing that caused the crash, however, the actual cause will be ascertained after the thorough investigation.
Meanwhile, PIA has activated its emergency call centre while all the operational staff has been called for duty.
Sindh Government has declared emergency at all the hospitals of Karachi to accommodate and provide the best medical care to the affectees of the incident.
Meanwhile Bank of Punjab Chief Executive Officer Zafar Masud has miraculously survived with relatively minor injuries after a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane he was on crashed on Friday in a residential area near the metropolis' Jinnah International Airport.
Masud was among the 98 persons travelling in Karachi-bound PIA flight PK-8303 from Lahore, which crashed in the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir almost a minute before landing.
It is still too early to say if there are more survivors from the tragedy, by Masud's story has offered a glimmer of hope to rescue teams racing to save as many souls as they can.
The BOP president was shifted to the Darul Sehat Hospital after being recovered from the crash site and is reportedly out of danger. He spoke to his mother on the phone and informed her about his health.
Masud has sustained fractures to his hip and collar bones, the Darul Sehat Hospital's administration said, adding that there were no burn marks on his body, only scratches. According to the hospital administration, Masood's CT scan has been done and his condition is out of danger. Masud's brother is with him in the hospital.
Reports indicated that the plane's tail-end hit the ground first and that anyone who survived was seated in the front portion.
Meanwhile according to media reports, the pilot of a crashed Pakistan International Airlines jet sent a Mayday call and told controllers the aircraft had lost power from both its engines on its second attempt to land, according to a recording posted on monitoring website liveatc.net.
After the aircraft reportedly called off an earlier attempt to land and went around for a second attempt, a controller radioed the pilot of flight 8303 that he appeared to be turning left, suggesting he was off-course.
The pilot replied, "We are returning back, sir, we have lost engines," and the controller cleared the plane to land on either of Karachi airport's two West-Southwest-facing runways.
Twelve seconds later the pilot called "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday" and was again cleared to use either runway. There was no further communication from the aircraft, reported to be an Airbus A320, according to the audio from liveatc.net, a respected source for in-flight recordings.
© Pakistan Press International, source Asianet-Pakistan