A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aircraft, flying from Lahore to Karachi, crashed near the port city’s airport in the densely populated area of Model Colony on Friday.
PIA flight PK8303 had 99 passengers and eight crew members on board during the time of the incident. The crash caused significant damage in the residential area and reportedly destroyed four houses.
“The plane PK 8303 with 99 passengers and 8 crew members has crashed,” said Abdullah Hafeez, a spokesman for the national carrier. The rescue operation in the area is in progress.
According the Sindh Health Ministry, at least 76 passengers have died and two survived in the incident. The injured are being treated at the Civil Hospital Karachi and Darus Sehat Hospital. Five bodies have been identified so far.
At least 41 bodies have been shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and 25 to the Civil Hospital.
PIA’s Chief Executive Officer Air Marshal Arshad Malik has ruled any possibility that the plane had any technical or any other issue. “All standard operating procedures were followed before the plane’s takeoff,” he clarified in a news conference Friday night.
He said the inquiry will be held to ascertain the cause of crash. “PIA has best ranking in the safety index in the history.”
He said the transparent inquiry will be held to ascertain the cause of crash and pledged to share the details of the investigation with the families of the victims.
Earlier, the PIA CEO said following the crash, that the pilot had informed air traffic control (ATC) that there was a technical issue and the pilot decided to go around rather than land. He added that two runways had been cleared for landing.