Pakistan International Airlines passenger plane crashes in Karachi

Pakistan International Airlines passenger plane crashes in Karachi
A Pakistan Internation Airlines flight crashed in a residential area near Jinnah International Airport in the city of Karachi. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: Authorities have confirmed a Pakistan International Airlines plane has crashed in Karachi on a flight from Lahore.

Flight PK8303 was carrying around 91 passengers and 8 crew. It was flying from Lahore to Jinnah Internation Airport, one of the country’s busiest airports.

The provincial health minister said at least 11 people had died, but a far higher toll is feared. At least two passengers are confirmed survivors.

An airline spokesman said the plane had lost contact with air traffic control just after 14:30 local time (09:30 GMT),

Pictures showed a scene of devastation in the Model Colony residential area.

Emergency services have arrived on the scene, which is near Model Colony, a neighbourhood of Karachi about 3.2km (two miles) north-east of Jinnah International Airport.

Pakistan’s army said soldiers from its quick reaction force had reached the crash site to help rescue efforts.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was “shocked and saddened” by the crash, promising an immediate investigation.

The cause of the crush is still not confirmed. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) chief executive Air Vice Marshal Arshad Malik said the pilot had told traffic control that the plane was experiencing “technical difficulties”.

The crash comes just days after Pakistan began allowing commercial flights to resume after a coronavirus lockdown.

Pakistanis across the country are preparing to celebrate Eid, after one month of Ramadan, the biggest Muslim festival of the year with many travelling back to their homes in cities and villages.

What is Pakistan’s safety record?

Pakistan has a chequered aviation safety record, including a number of airliner crashes.

An aircraft operated by private airline Airblue crashed in 2010 near Islamabad. The incident cost all 152 people on board – the deadliest air disaster in Pakistani history.

A Boeing 737-200 operated by Pakistan’s Bhoja Air crashed in 2012 in bad weather on its approach to land in Rawalpindi, killing all 121 passengers and six crew.

And in 2016, a Pakistan International Airlines plane burst into flames while travelling from northern Pakistan to Islamabad, killing 47 people.