A plane of the company Pakistan international Airlines (PIA) with a hundred people on board crashed Friday in Karachi, the capital of the South, said the Pakistani aviation authority.
Public television images show that the aircraft crashed in a residential area. “The plane crashed in Karachi. We are trying to confirm the number of passengers, but initially there were 99 passengers and eight crew members,” Abdul Sattar Khokhar, a gatekeeper, told AFP. – Word from the Pakistan aviation authority, adding that the flight came from Lahore, the second city of the country.
The Pakistani military tweeted that it had sent a rapid response force, along with paramilitary elements, to the scene of the accident, who arrived there. At least forty people died when an airliner crashed Friday in a residential area of Karachi, in the south of Pakistan, after having known a technical problem, according to a provisional assessment communicated by the helpers.
“We have recovered 40 bodies so far,” Major Mohammad Mansoor of the Pakistan Rangers, a paramilitary unit, told AFP. Faisal Edhi, the director of the Edhi foundation, who assisted the rescuers, mentioned at least 42 bodies in a television interview. The Airbus A320 of the Pakistani national company PIA had a hundred people on board.
So far, at least two passengers have survived the crash of a Pakistan International Airlines plane on Friday near Karachi, the civil aviation authority said. There were 107 people on board. A dozen bodies were also found at the crash site.
One of the survivors, the owner of a commercial bank, is in stable condition.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was “shocked and saddened” by the disaster, sending his “prayers and condolences to the families and missing persons” on Twitter.
According to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the plane had on board “many people returning home for Eid” el-Kebir, the celebration of the end of Ramadan, the most important holiday for Muslims.
“I was leaving the mosque when I saw the plane tilt to one side,” said Hassan, 14. “The engine noises were quite bizarre. The plane was so low that the walls (…) were shaking,” he added.
The disaster comes just days after the country authorized the resumption of domestic commercial flights. For more than a month, domestic connections had been suspended to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. Very few international flights had been maintained.
Pakistan has a mixed record for aviation safety, with frequent crashes of civil and military aircraft and helicopters over the years.
The last major air accident in Pakistan dates back to December 2016, when an airliner of the national company PIA carrying out an internal flight had crashed in the mountainous north of the country, killing 47 people.
The deadliest crash in recent years in Pakistan dates back to 2010. An Airbus 321 from private Airblue, flying from Karachi to Islamabad, crashed in the hills shortly before landing in the capital, killing 152 people on board. .