Airbus A320 airliner crashes in Karachi over residential area

A Pakistani airliner with a hundred people on board crashed Friday in a residential area of ​​Karachi, the big city in the south of the country, after having suffered a technical problem. Public television footage showed thick black smoke escaping into the sky behind a seemingly recent house. Firefighters were trying to extinguish debris from buildings, while military helicopters patrolled over the area. “There were 91 passengers and 7 crew members” on board Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK8303, “which lost contact with air traffic control at 2:37 pm” (0937 GMT), said the PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez to local media.

Arshad Malik’s CEO said the aircraft, an Airbus A320 from Lahore, was “on final approach” from Karachi airport when an incident occurred. “The last time we heard from the pilot, he indicated that he had a technical problem,” he said in a video posted on Twitter. “He was told (…) that two runways were ready for landing, but he decided to go around. Why? The technical problem remains to be determined.”

According to Interior Minister Ijaz Ahmad Shah, the pilot said he had “lost an engine” and then made “a distress call”. An hooly News journalist saw charred bodies being taken to ambulances. Syed Murad Ali Shah, head of government in Sindh, the province of which Karachi is the capital, said a survivor of the crash. Seemin Jamali, a director of the Jinnah University Hospital in Karachi, said that eight corpses and 15 wounded had been transported to his services, all of them residents.

The Pakistani army announced on Twitter that it had sent a rapid intervention force, along with paramilitary elements, to the scene of the accident.[…]

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