An airliner of pakistan with a hundred people aboard crashed Friday on a residential area of Karachi, the largest city in the south of the country.
Images of public tv showed thick, black smoke escape into the sky, behind a house appearance new. Firefighters were trying to extinguish the debris of buildings, while military helicopters patrolling over the area.
“There were 91 passengers and 7 crew members on board the flight PK8303 of the national airline Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), which has lost contact with air traffic control at 14: 37”, stated the spokesperson of PIA, Abdullah Hafeez, to the local media. “It is too early to comment on the causes of the crash”, he continued.
The spokesperson of the aviation authority of Pakistan, Abdul Sattar Khokhar, was in a first state of the “99 passengers and eight crew members”, adding that the flight was from Lahore, the second largest city in the country.
The pakistani army has tweeted be sent to the accident scene a ” rapid intervention force, as well as of the paramilitaries, who arrived on the scene.
The prime minister, Imran Khan said he is “shocked and saddened” by the disaster, sending on Twitter its “prayers and condolences to the families and the departed”.
According to the minister of foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the aircraft is damaged “a few minutes before its landing” on board “of people returning home for the Eid el-Kebir, the celebration of the end of ramadan, the most important festival for the muslims.
“I was coming out of the mosque when I saw the plane tilt to one side,” said Hassan, a 14 years old. “The sounds of the engines were rather bizarre. The plane was so low that the walls (…) trembles”, he added.
The disaster comes just days after the country has allowed the resumption of commercial flights internal. For more than a month, the domestic flights had been suspended to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. Very few international flights had been maintained.
Pakistan has a mixed track record in terms of aviation safety, to frequent crashes of aircraft and helicopters civil and military, that occurred over the years.
The last air accident of magnitude in Pakistan was in December 2016, when an aircraft of the national airline, PIA, performing a domestic flight crashed in the mountainous north of the country, killing 47 people.
The crash the deadliest in recent years in Pakistan dates back to 2010. An Airbus 321 of the private company Airblue, travelling from Karachi to Islamabad, crashed in the hills shortly before landing in the capital, killing all 152 people on board.