Airbus reportedly crashed during the second attempt to land at Karachi airport
Pakistani officials confirmed that 97 were killed and two survived when a passenger plane crashed into a residential area near the airport in Karachi on Friday.
The bodies of the passengers and crew killed had been recovered from the site near the city’s airport, the Sindh Health Ministry said. The rescue operation ended in the early hours of Saturday.
The aircraft arriving from Lahore was carrying 99 passengers and eight crew members, PIA spokesperson said. At least five or six houses were destroyed in the crash.
Plumes of smoke were sent into the air as rescuers and residents searched for survivors and firefighters tried to extinguish the flames.
Sarfraz Ahmed, a firefighter at the crash site, said the nose of the Airbus A320 and the fuselage had been heavily damaged by the impact.
After a failed first landing attempt, the pilot announced to passengers he was going to make a second attempt, then crashed as he approached the runway.
One of the survivors, Mohammad Zubair, 24, told media that “After the plane hit and I regained consciousness, I saw fire everywhere and no one was visible. There were only screams.”
The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder have been recovered from the site of the plane crash in Karachi, an airline spokesman said.
The disaster comes as Pakistanis prepare to celebrate Eid al-Fitr when many travel back to their homes in cities and villages.
Responding to the crash, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was “shocked and saddened.”