A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aircraft from Lahore to Karachi crashed in a residential area just minutes before landing at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport. The flight was an A320 and PIA spokesperson Abdul Sattar told Dawn News that flight PK8303 was carrying 99 passengers and 8 crew members.
Speaking to the media, PIA CEO Arshad Malik stated that the last message received from the pilots was that there was a technical problem. The pilots were then told by air traffic control (ATC) authorities that both runways at the airport were ready for the plane to land “at 2.05”. However, the pilots decided to go around, and the plane is said to have crashed shortly after. The pilots are heard saying that they have ‘lost engines’ and the last message that the ATC is heard receiving is 'May Day, May Day'.
According to reports, several casualties have been feared. The aircraft crashed in the densely-populated Model Colony area near Jinnah international airport in Karachi. Visuals showed plumes of smoke emanating, believed to be from the crash site. Dawn News added that ambulances and rescue officials are at the scene.
Pakistan Prime Minister said he is in touch with PIA CEO Arshad Malik, who has left for the spot.
“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 (sic),” the Pakistan PM said,
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
Geo News, quoting sources of the Civil Aviation Authority, said that the crash took place a minute prior to landing, which is when it lost communication with the flight.
Flight PK-303 from Lahore was about to land in Karachi when it crashed at the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir, just a minute before its landing, a report said.
Several houses have been damaged in the area where the aircraft crashed.
A statement by the Pakistan Army's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that Army Quick Reaction Force and Sindh Pakistan Rangers reached the spot for carrying out rescue and relief operations alongside civil administration.
Dawn News added that the Minister of Health and Population Welfare has declared an emergency in all major hospitals of Karachi.